Saturday, February 9, 2013

Did Truman Capote fudge the facts in "In Cold Blood"?

More backstory on Truman Capote and the book that put him on the map: In Cold Blood.

The Wall Street Journal reports that newly unearthed Kansas Bureau of Investigation files from the infamous Clutter murder -- the subject of Truman Capote's famous book -- suggest that Capote may have played with some of the facts:

A long-forgotten cache of Kansas Bureau of Investigation documents from the investigation into the deaths suggests that the events described in two crucial chapters of the 1966 book differ significantly from what actually happened. Separately, a contract reviewed and authenticated by The Wall Street Journal shows that Mr. Capote in 1965 required Columbia Pictures to offer Mr. Dewey's wife a job as a consultant to the film version of his book for a fee far greater than the U.S. median family income that year.

Was the first "non-fiction" novel more novel than non-fiction?  And: considering the ground-breaking nature of the book, how much does it matter?  bk

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