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Summer Crossing: A Novel (Modern Library Paperbacks) Paperback – June 27, 2006
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Some people (like the publishers for example) have said that the heroine of SUMMER CROSSING, Grady McNeil, reminds them of Holly Golightly, that she's an early and inferior sketch for Holly Golightly, who charmed us all in Capote's later BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S. If she's an early sketch for anything, she might be in the running for a proto Kate McCloud. McCloud was to be the heroine of Capote's notorious unfinished novel ANSWERED PRAYERS, and we all know what happened there.Read more ›
My understanding is that this was to be his first novel. *"More and more," he wrote, "Summer Crossing seemed to me thin, clever, unfelt. Another language, a secret spititual geography, was burgeoning inside me, taking hold of my nightdream hours as well as my wakeful daydreams." He set it aside and composed "Other Voices, Other Rooms." After the subsequent publication of his story collection "A Tree of Night" and travel essays "Local Color," Truman returned to "Summer Crossing," only to set it aside once again to focus his attention on another short novel "The Grass Harp."
Judging from his own words Capote felt "Summer Crossing" to be unfinished and not at all representational of the standard he aspired to: *"I read it over two or three times, and one day I just decided: I don't really like it. I think it's well written and it's got a lot of style, but I don't really like it. And so I tore it up." Yet, here it is in book form.
I'd love to be able to say Capote was too harsh a critic of his own work. However, it turns out that his assessment was absolute in its accuracy. "Summer Crossing" is a novel not without talent, but without distinction. One fails to hear Capote's voice in this work. It lacks all resonance, and is devoid of those qualities we most treasure in the accomplished and polished works of this author: passion, whimsy, a sense of foreboding and an overriding empathy for his characters.Read more ›
The four notebooks and 62 pages of notes that comprise the manuscript were found in an assortment of boxes that Capote had left behind in a basement apartment in Brooklyn after catapulting to fame with his novel OTHER VOICES, OTHER ROOMS (1948). The house sitter, instructed to put it all out for the garbage, opted instead to hold onto the boxes, and eventually died. His estate, upon opening boxes of letters and writings belonging to Capote, immediately contacted Sotheby's, who got in touch with Alan U. Schwartz, Capote's attorney. Ultimately, the papers were purchased by the New York Public Library to become part of their Truman Capote Papers and, after much rumination and discussion, was decided that SUMMER CROSSING should be published. There is a very good afterword by Schwartz detailing this account and his relationship with Capote that definitely should be included in the reading.
So here is Capote's first novel, begun in 1943 when he is 29, has been a New Yorker since the age of nine, and presumably is working on what would become his first success, the aforementioned OTHER VOICES, OTHER ROOMS. I will tell you that SUMMER CROSSING can be read in probably a little more than (or a little under) an hour, depending upon the reader. There's nothing particularly "heavy" about the book and, in fact, some of it is rather predictable, but I did find myself going back and reading it a second time.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am in the course of studying Truman Capote and began by reading his early work. I have greatly enjoyed both of his first written novels, "Other Voices, Other Rooms" and... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Francis C. Donnelly
I have mixed feelings on this book. Truman Capote tried to throw it away, but a house sitter found it and after his death tried to auction it off. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Kristi Richardson
When Truman Capote died, a number of his stories were thrown in a dumpster! Found and much later put up for auction, a few were published. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Kris D. Hatch
I think Capote was about 19 years old when he wrote this so it's early in his career. From that point of view, it shows potential of what he became, but basically an ideal read... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Phoebe
Truman Capote was one of the greatest writers of all time.
I thought I had everything he had ever written.
So, I was thrilled to come across this unfinished novel. Read more
I bought the book because it was assigned reading for our group. I found it entertaining, but a very startling ending. Seemed there should have been more story after.Published on August 9, 2013 by jladybug
Exactly how much trouble can a filthy rich, spoiled Manhattan teenaged girl get into when her parents leave via ocean liner for summer in Europe? Read morePublished on July 3, 2013 by James W. Fonseca
Until last week, I had yet to actually read a single page written by the legend known as Truman Capote. Read morePublished on May 29, 2013 by Andrew Ellington