Lee radziwill

Why did Truman Capote betray his ‘swans’ so cruelly?

The first rule in John Updike’s code of book reviewing is: try to understand what the author wished to do and do not blame him for not achieving what he did not attempt. I should therefore not blame Laurence Leamer for failing to capture in Capote’s Women any sense of what made Truman Capote irresistibly attractive to all sorts of people – rich, poor, male, female and especially to his flock of high-society swans, the women of Leamer’s title. Nor should I blame him for failing to identify what made Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood both beloved by critics and hugely popular. I can’t blame Leamer, because what

My unforgettable night with a musical genius

Nostalgia barged in like gangbusters. What brought it on was a brief article about the most charming and enchanting of young women, Nancy Olson. Seventy-two years ago, she was in that rare gem of a movie, Sunset Boulevard, playing the rosy-cheeked screenwriter who was the love interest of William Holden, the writer who was handsome but entrapped by Norma Desmond, aka Gloria Swanson. Nancy’s blue eyes shimmered, and her figure was to die for, but what made her memorable was that she was as American as apple pie. Innocence trumped sex in her case, and apparently she was as decent and as intelligent as the ingénue she played in that