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Swan Song: Longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2019

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I have to admit that prior to reading Swan Song, I knew almost nothing about Truman Capote; I had, of course, heard of his two most famous books, his much-loved novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s and his non-fiction novel, In Cold Blood, but that was about the extent of my knowledge. And thus it was that for me, Swan Song was not only a riveting read, but it too was an informative insight into one of the twentieth century’s most renowned literary darlings. Swan Song is magnificent. For all the swagger and swish and intrigue, it is consistently well supported with perfect, juicy sentences. Utter corker Fiona Melrose The book is dripping with atmosphere and character and is such a pleasure to read. And Then I Read A Book blog

As my opening quote implies that immediately gave me no common ground to start from, until I realised I I had one thing - I knew the famous poster of a film for which it turns out Capote wrote the originating novella.Swan Song is utterly divine.It swept me up and I just couldn't put it down ... it is the writing in this debut novel that astounds most of all. It is vivid, addictive and whips up a terrific portrait of a deeply contradictory and complex man, contrasting scenes from his unorthodox childhood with those from the gilded bubble he ended up in that he lanced through his own actions. Victoria Sadler A boy pampered and indulged well into middle age, courtesy of his unquestioned genius.”The iconic American author, Truman Capote is remembered best for penning such literary classics as Breakfast at Tiffany's and In Cold Blood – the latter often held to be a watershed in popular culture. He had a flair for self publicity and, throughout the 1960s, was often photographed hobnobbing with the rich and famous in fashionable nightspots. Even as his writing career declined in the following decade, he maintained his celebrity by impishly declaring his brilliance on TV chat shows. Truman could best be epitomized by the four Cs (those who knew him most intimately would likely add a fifth): camp, catty, course and clever. Though his cleverness notoriously deserted him when he imprudently and very publicly besmirched the reputations of those he had come to rely on so completely as sources of inspiration, influence and adoration. His greatest mistake was betraying their trust by publishing in Esquire two episodes from his uncompleted novel, Answered Prayers, in which many old friends were revealed in all their grotesque prodigality, barely disguised with fictitious names. If a writer is going to craft a novel from well-known events, they might as well do it with brio, which this has in spades... A skilled and sparking debut Suzi Feay, Guardian The second section, The Present, and the third, The Past, are more eclectic and wide-ranging.Rose, 1944 is quintessential Dunmore.

I’m constructing this book like a gun, there’s the trigger, the barrel and finally the bullet .And when it’s fired it’s gonna come out with a speed and power you’ve never seen - WHAM” Author: Hailing from the Georgian city of Lichfield, Stokes-Chapman is a graduate of Aberystwyth University’s MA in Creative Writing. Pandorawas shortlisted for the 2020 Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize and longlisted for the 2020 Bath Novel Award. There is much of interest here. Capote was a fascinating, damaged character. There are points in the story where you can pause and switch to YouTube to watch events being referred to (I would very much recommend watching the infamous interview on the Stanley Siegel show where Capote turned up high and rambled - it gives an insight into the state of his life and mind at that point in the story - if you have been reading this book prior to watching that clip, it is heartbreaking). The writer became hugely famous after the publication of In Cold Blood in 1966, about the murder of a Kansas family in their home. This novel is based on a fascinating real-life story, but I was bored out of my mind reading it: After spending years with the rich and the famous, writer Truman Capote published a text called "La Côte Basque 1965" in an issue of Esquire magazine in 1975, which was intended to be part of his new novel "Answered Prayers" (the unfinished book was then published posthumously in 1986). In it, Capote spills the secrets of some of his high society friends, their thinly veiled identities easy to decipher for contemporary readers. As a consequence, Capote lost many of his closest female friends, socialites who felt like he sold them out for personal gain, while he argued that, well, he's a writer, so he writes.I read this book (and persisted with it when I might otherwise long since have abandoned it) due to its longlisting for the 2019 Women’s Prize. Greenberg-Jephcott's debut is a devastating read that blurs the lines between vulnerability and narcissism; sex and power. And, ultimately, it is Capote's self-destruction that will have you racing breathlessly towards the end The Pool A] seductive spellbinding debut... Greenberg-Jephcott beautifully captures the pain and poignancy alongside the privilege" * S Magazine, Sunday Express * On another occasion we are told Babe, one of the swans, as a consummate hostess, hand selects books for each of her guests bedrooms. And this is juxtaposed with a Capote telling a story of his past (an early win In a writing competition where his story was pulled due to its indiscretions and as a result he lost his animal prize) but carefully selecting different versions tailored to appeal to each of his swans. Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott’s memorable first novel is a fictionalised reimagining of the later life of Truman Capote, an author whose work so often took factual events and applied to them the techniques of the novel. Swan Song treads that modish no man’s land between fact and fiction, finding resonance in the interplay between what we know of Capote’s life and what we don’t. If, as Capote said, life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act, then Greenberg-Jephcott has constructed a third act for her hero that does him justice, never shying away from presenting him as the preening, bitchy, rancorous alcoholic he became, but also finding ways to show why so many loved him.

The author writes a historical piece of fiction based on the life of Truman Capote, writer of Breakfast at Tiffany's and In Cold Blood. It is a blend of fact and fiction, and echoes the style and concept of In Cold Blood. Capote had a difficult childhood that he deeply resented, only to leave it far behind as he comes to gain entry to the circles of the powerful, wealthy and famous, admitted to their close inner circles, privy to their deepest secrets. The author drops a litany of famous names and families from the era, outlining their glamorous lives in numerous global locations. Capote collected a bevy of privileged women who adore him, indulging in the latest gossip, whilst deploying a cutting wit. They are his Swans, indulged and indulgent, relationships built up over decades, sources of artistic inspiration and influence. So why would he throw it all away by betraying them in the planned Answered Prayers, a literary gossip read, covered in Esquire magazine, exposing their secrets for all to gawp over and feed on? Styan, J. L. (1984). All's Well that Ends Well. Manchester University Press. p.48. ISBN 9780719009990 . Retrieved 21 April 2019. He had been right about me. I had been a rich man’s darling all right. A very rich man’s darling. And very cherished. And indulged. And cosseted. And adored. But only until I was twelve. Author: Kent-based freelance conference producer Laura Marshall is a recent graduate of Curtis Brown Creative three month writing course. Friend Request was the runner up for The Bath Novel Award 2016and was also shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize 2016.

The snow in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we came to understand the gravity of our situation.” Before the session, Kelleigh asked attendees to send in examples of evocative fiction. Here’s what the group came up with: Brilliantly written, deeply researched, funny, sharp and moving, this wonderful book marks the debut of a major talent. Kate Williams, bestselling author of Josephine

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