'Yachts and Things': A Missing Chapter of Truman Capote's Infamous Novel, Answered Prayers?

Truman Capote's Infamous Novel, Answered Prayers?" src="https://cloudimages.broadwayworld.com/columnpic6/2D9E98284-C721-094E-10A32B44393ACB48.jpg" alt="'Yachts and Things': A Missing Chapter of Truman Capote's Infamous Novel, Answered Prayers?" width="200" align="left" border="0" hspace="10" />

Vanity Fair writer Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger, co-authors of the 2010 biography, Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century, recently discovered a previously unpublished travel piece by Truman Capote that might possibly have been a draft of one of the unfinished chapters of Capote's scandalous roman-a-clef, Answered Prayers.

The brief but vivid sketch, titled "Yachts and Things," was found among Capote's papers in The Berg Collection of the New York Public Library. It was reprinted in the December issue of Vanity Fair, accompanying Sam Kashner's article on the disastrous publication of "La Cote Basque l965," the first installment of Answered Prayers, Capote's final novel, which recounted scurrilous gossip about Capote's society friends and turned the "Tiny Terror" into a social pariah.

Sam Kashner consulted Capote biographer Gerald Clarke to help identify one of the two main figures in the article, whom Capote described as "a distinguished and rather intellectual woman, whom I shall call Mrs. Williams." The narrator (Capote) and Mrs. Williams embark on a three-week cruise along the Turkish coast. At one point, they join a party of Turks and smoke hashish together. After consulting Clarke, Sam Kashner identified "Mrs.Williams" as Katherine Graham, publisher of the Washington Post, a probability confirmed by Graham's Pulitzer-winning autobiography, "Personal History," in which she describes such a trip taken with Capote (but without mentioning the hashish).

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