Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Truman Capote

Illustrated by Karen Klassen

Introduced by Jay McInerney

Capote’s enchanting New York novella, introduced by Jay McInerney. With illustrations by Karen Klassen.

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Beginning with a chance glimpse in a shared apartment building, Truman Capote’s enchanting novella charts the friendship between an aspiring writer who has just moved to New York City and his neighbour Holly Golightly: girl about town, genteel gold-digger and free spirit. It is one of the quintessential American stories of the 20th century.

Production Details

Bound in blocked buckram

Set in Bodoni

128 pages

Frontispiece and 6 colour illustrations

Metallic slipcase

9˝ x 5¾˝

Holly Golightly, ‘the wild thing’

It was a warm evening, nearly summer, and she wore a slim cool black dress, black sandals, a pearl choker

This edition features striking artwork by Canadian artist Karen Klassen, whose background is in fashion illustration. Holly is at the centre of each of her images, including her dramatic binding design, depicting Holly on top of the Manhattan skyline. In his introduction, novelist and critic Jay McInerney points out the similarities between this book and another that Capote admired: The Great Gatsby. Holly shares Gatsby’s combination of mystery, glamour and vulnerability. Yet Capote has a humour and lightness of touch all of his own; he revels in Holly’s joie de vivre and his characters’ dialogue, much of which appears word for word in the 1961 film: ‘It’s too gruesome’; ‘I’m going to march you over to the zoo and feed you to the yak.’

‘A master writer ... makes the heart sing and the narrative fly’

  1. New York Times

Exploring Holly’s genesis, McInerney suggests that the socialite she most resembled was the author himself. While Capote disliked the film adaptation, with its romantic ending, McInerney points out that the book endures: ‘Those who want to encounter the untamed Holly, “the wild thing” who can never be caged or pinned down or domesticated, and whose ultimate fate remains a mystery, will find her here in Capote’s luminous pages.’

Jay McInerney discusses Holly Golightly

Jay McInerney reads from Breakfast at Tiffany’s

About Truman Capote

Truman Capote was born in New Orleans in 1924. Following his parents’ divorce four years later, he was sent to Monroeville, Alabama, to be raised by his mother’s relatives. In 1933 he went to live with his mother in New York, and began working at The New Yorker at the age of 19. His first novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms (1948), earned him an international literary reputation. Along with Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1958), his major successes include The Grass Harp (1951) and In Cold Blood (1965), but he is equally remembered for his flamboyant, controversial lifestyle and penchant for the glittering world of high society. He died in 1984.


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