Over the fall, while helping to search for quotes to accompany the spreads in Algonquin’s annual Out on the Porch calendar, I stumbled upon a passage from Breakfast at Tiffany’s that I couldn’t get out of my head. (I won’t spoil any potential future Porch months, but suffice it to say, the quote currently resides as my only Facebook “Favorite Quotations.”)
This, and affection for the Audrey Hepburn movie that Truman Capote’s short, easy-to-read novel inspired, should have been enough to push me to pick up the book. But, alas, what finally did it was being pushed to tears during the flashback George (Colin Firth) had of his beloved cozily reading Breakfast at Tiffany’s beside him on the couch in the movie version of A Single Man the same week that Workman’s editorial intern, Justin, assured me that Breakfast at Tiffany’s was a must-read.
All signs pointing toward the book, I swung by the local library and checked out Breakfast at Tiffany’s while visiting Upstate New York the week between Christmas and New Years. And I’m so glad I did. (Thrillingly enough, my copy even had the exact same red and white dust jacket that was featured in A Single Man!)
Capote’s Holly is oozing with the “It factor,” but, unlike in the movie, that is as much a blessing as a curse; she is rebelliously selfish yet somehow deeply sympathetic—an urban Scarlett O’Hara (complete with periodesque prejudices) who can’t escape her past, her present, or herself.
All in all, I thought that Capote did a terrific job of evoking New York City and the types of people you fall into meeting while living here. Plus, knowing the ending of the movie doesn’t tip one off to the conclusion of the book—or many of its twists and turns, for that matter—so the entire read is fairly fresh.
With the release of the Water for Elephants trailer, I’ll admit I’ve become something of a sucker for the book-turned-movie—I even grabbed some wassail and watched Eat, Pray, Love on New Year’s Eve—so I could just be in the middle a literary phase saying this, but I think I’ll be picking up Breakfast at Tiffany’s again from time to time.
–Emily Parliman, Publishers’ Assistant