no better, no worse, no change, no pain

loving the lost book

In Literature on December 23, 2009 at 7:38 pm

“Yes: but aren’t love and marriage notoriously synonymous in the minds of most women? Certainly very few men get the first without promising the second: love, that is – if it’s just a matter of spreading her legs, almost any woman will do that for nothing.”

My copy of Truman Capote’s Summer Crossing is now little more than a sandy, soggy mess. This slim volume accompanied me to the beach yesterday, and after a few hours of avid reading, interspersed with some languid swims, the oppressive New York summer of 1945 and a sultry Sydney December seemed a world apart. This is the story of a wealthy young socialite, Grady, alone in her parents’ penthouse for the summer; what begins as a heady romance with the Brooklyn-born parking attendant, Clyde, quickly descends into a claustrophobic and ultimately tragic affair. Truman vividly evokes the emotions, doubts and fears of the characters, seemingly interwoven with the intense heatwave that envelops the city.

This novella was thought to have been abandoned by the author in 1944, only to be uncovered some 50 years later as a complete manuscript. The luminous writing and refined narrative are as evident in this early work as in Capote’s later classics In Cold Blood and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

  1. Hi Amelia
    I *loved* Summer Crossing! I discovered it first as an audio book, read brilliantly by Lorelei King (see and have since bought the book – one of those Popular Penguins, which alas does not have your absolutely perfect cover photo.
    Lisa Hill, ANZ LitLovers (

    • Hi Lisa,
      Confession: I, too, bought the Popular Penguin edition! But the Modern Classics cover is so lovely, I decided to include that on the post instead! As I said, this was a beach read, and I’m ever so glad it cost me under $10 given the sandy state it is in now.
      I did read your review of the audio book after I read the book. What a coup to have Lorelei King herself comment on the post 🙂

  2. AH, we are both romantics LOL!

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