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Unpublished Truman Capote Story Discovered

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The December issue of Vanity Fair features an exciting find--an unpublished story by Truman Capote.

Titled "Yachts and Things," the six-page tale was uncovered in the Manuscripts and Archives Division of the New York Public Library. It is thought to be a portion of his unfinished novel, Answered Prayers, which was published in 1987, three years after the author's death. Although a work of fiction, the characters were blatantly based on many of the socialites Capote befriended, such as Jackie O. and Peggy Guggenheim.

According to Galleycat, this particular new story is "about two friends about to take 'an idyllic three-week cruise in the Mediterranean aboard a friend’s chartered yacht.'" Sam Kashner, the Vanity Fair contributing editor who discovered the story, says the protagonist in "Yachts and Things," Mrs. Williams, might be a veiled representation of Katharine Graham, the publisher of The Washington Post at the time.

The New York Times' review of Answered Prayers was unfavorable, claiming, "It was the transparent identities in [the final chapter] that did Capote in. Even to this day it is fashionable in fashionable circles to take the line that poor Truman lost his marbles... it is clear that Capote had the raw material for a best-selling nonfiction book and should have written it as just that."

Before his passing, the author had already begun referring to Answered Prayers, for which he received at advance in 1966, as a "posthumous novel." On the Dick Cavett Show in 1971, he said, "either I'm going to kill it, or it's going to kill me."

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