Though Capote’s early short stories lack the polish that stories written by a more experienced Capote have, they are incredibly imaginative and vary greatly from story to story. Capote wrote about everything from a sixteen year old girl in love with a boy about to leave their hometown, to a convicted woman escaping from jail. Some of his characters are upper class teens and others are homeless stragglers.
Right from the first story, titled “Parting of the Way”, the reader is lost in Capote’s imagined world of a homeless straggler getting ready to make his way home when his money goes ‘mysteriously’ missing. Though the writing is not polished and a bit juvenile, the story itself is captivating.
Another strong story was “Mill Store” where a store clerk attends to a child bitten by a poisonous snake and sucks poison out of her leg.
“This is for Jamie” was a sad story about a lonely child making friends with a woman walking her dog.
I was continually impressed with the range that Capote’s early short stories were capable of.
Hilton Als was also a great choice for writing the foreword because he brought some interesting race related points to think about. He also highlighted that Capote liked to write about everyday occurrences while embellishing them to bring them to life in fiction form, as well as being a small snap shot into 1940’s small town America.
I highly recommend this short story collection – it’s so short and can easily be read in a sitting or two. Now I want to revisit some of Capote’s later work. It was a pleasure to read his early collection.
I received a copy of this short story collection from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.