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Capote memorabilia will be auctioned

October 10, 2006|Robin Abcarian

The resurgent interest in Truman Capote continues. On the heels of Philip Seymour Hoffman's Oscar-winning portrayal of the famously flamboyant author in last year's "Capote" comes "Infamous," a retelling of the story, this time starring Toby Jones.

And now, an auction of Capote memorabilia owned by Joanne Carson, the close friend in whose arms he died in 1984. Capote and Carson met at a 1966 dinner party thrown by publishing powerhouse Bennett Cerf. He was already an international literary sensation; she was the glamorous wife of America's favorite late-night television host.

"The Private World of Truman Capote," Carson's 337-lot collection, is to be auctioned Nov. 9 by Bonhams New York. About 50 lots will be on preview from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday at Bonhams & Butterfields in Los Angeles.

Among them: a 38-page typed essay by Carson about her early days with Johnny, heavily edited in pen by Capote; a handwritten note, with misspelling, penned by Capote on a torn scrap of paper reading "I'm a genuis."

In addition to a 7-carat brown diamond ring given to Carson by Capote (who told her "Every woman should have one important piece of jewelry"), there are more quotidian items: a Capote MasterCard, checkbooks, doodles and the tuxedo Capote wore to the famous Black & White Ball at the Plaza in New York City on Nov. 28, 1966.

Information: (323) 850-7500, or visit

Robin Abcarian


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