I have never read anything by Truman Capote, and after reading this compilation of four of his works I really feel like I've been missing out. In college I took a literature class that focused on the Harlem Renaissance. I loved the writing and the stories that we focused on in that course. There was something so spare and clean in the writing of those stories, and damn, they packed an emotional punch. All of the stories in this book reminded me of the books we read in that Harlem Renaissance course. Many of the women in those books were, like Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's and Ottilie in House of Flowers, on their own, searching for their futures, abandoning a past, and pretending contentedness in their now.
Capote's writing caught me completely off guard; not just Breakfast at Tiffany's, but in every single story in the book. Each time he subtly drew me into his stories and got me emotionally invested in the characters, and I didn't even realize it until the story ended and I was left feeling an emotional punch. Really, this was beautifully done, because as I began each story I was pretty sure I wasn't liking what I was reading. I don't know how Capote got his stories under my skin and into my heart, but he did it, and I know that from time to time I will wonder what became of Holly and Ottilie.