Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Swans

C.Z. Guest

Babe Paley

Lee Radziwill

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Gloria Guinness

I’m currently reading George Plimpton’s biography of writer Truman Capote. Having seen both films about the author, “Capote” with Philip Seymour Hoffman (fantastic) and “Infamous” with Toby Jones (not so great), I became very interested in the life of Capote. Both films primarily dealt with the years he spent working on In Cold Blood, so I was curious to know more about his early life, his literary successes, and then his ultimate downfall.

I’ve been fascinated reading about his relationships with the society ladies, whom he called his “Swans”: Babe Paley, C.Z. Guest, Gloria Guinness and Slim Keith, as well as some of his other society friends, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Lee Radziwill and Diana Vreeland, to name a few. Such a fabulous era. Of course, his downfall came when an excerpt of his book, Le Cote Basque 1965 appeared in Esquire Magazine. It was a thinly veiled tell-all about the indiscretions of many of these society ladies and their husbands, many of whom confided in Capote over the years, thinking he would be discreet. Well, he wasn’t. Needless to say, he became a pariah and was cut off by most of his socialite friends. Although, from what I’ve read, C.Z. remained a true friend to the end (quite the lady).

It’s an interesting read, to say the least, filled with commentary from writers, royalty, socialites, you name it. I highly recommend it.

1 comment:

Eloise said...

Thanks for another book recommendation! I read The Razor's Edge while in Hawaii and LOVED it.