In late 2004, a trove of Truman Capote's abandoned papers went up for auction at Sotheby's. Included in the lot was the handwritten manuscript of
Summer Crossing, a novel Capote began writing in 1943, and continued to tinker with on and off for a decade. Since the time of his death in 1984, Capote scholars and biographers had long believed this manuscript lost, never to be recovered. They were wrong.
Set in New York just after World War II, Summer Crossing is the story of a young carefree socialite, Grady McNeil, whose parents leave her alone in their Fifth Avenue penthouse for the summer. Left to her own devices, Grady turns up the heat on the secret affair she's been having with a Brooklyn-born Jewish war veteran. As the season passes, the romance turns more serious and morally ambiguous, and Grady must eventually make a series of decisions that will forever affect her life and the lives of everyone around her.
Summer Crossing is a precocious, confident first novel that displays the flawless narrative sense of one of the twentieth century's greatest writers. Its immaculate turns of phrase, hard irony, and insight into the subtleties of class distinction will point to Capote's future triumphs. Worthy of a spot on any reader's Capote bookshelf, this is, in every sense, a lost treasure found.
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