Modern Lit: Capote in Kansas, by Kim Powers

3.0 out of 5 stars Metaphor

Capote in Kansas is a ghostly story, in which a pair of childhood friends attain tremendous literary fame, only to have their relationship destroyed by their success. The novel opens as both Truman Capote and Harper Lee are nearing the ends of their respective lives. Each has been a “one book wonder” of a sort, each now long paralyzed by a form of writer’s block. Both authors, who were simply human, after all, obsess over the choices they’ve made, struggling with enormous guilt and anxiety, somewhat existential in nature. Kim Powers takes the reader on an imaginary sojourn into their minds and hearts. Both are visited by ghosts and memories, unfulfilled wishes and waking dreams. How much of this plot is sheer, metaphorical fancy? Probably most of it. But it is based upon facts, and it might be interesting to revisit Capote in Kansas after reading some legitimate biography, to come to one’s own educated conclusion.


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