Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

October 15, 2021 @ 1:00 pm

An Afternoon with Laurence Leamer and Julia Cooke


October 15, 2021
1:00 pm

Books & Books and Miami Book Fair present…

An Virtual Afternoon with


In conversation with Julia Cooke


Capote’s Women: A True Story of Love, Betrayal, and a Swan Song for an Era

(G.P. Putnam’s Sons, $28) 

Friday, October 15, 1 PM ET


About the Book:

New York Times bestselling author Laurence Leamer reveals the complex web of relationships and scandalous true stories behind Truman Capote’s never-published final novel, Answered Prayers–the dark secrets, tragic glamour, and Capote’s ultimate betrayal of the group of female friends he called his “swans.”

“There are certain women,” Truman Capote wrote, “who, though perhaps not born rich, are born to be rich.” Barbara “Babe” Paley, Gloria Guinness, Marella Agnelli, Slim Hayward, Pamela Churchill, C. Z. Guest, Lee Radziwill (Jackie Kennedy’s sister)–they were the toast of midcentury New York, each beautiful and distinguished in her own way. These women captivated and enchanted Capote–and at times, they infuriated him as well. He befriended them, received their deepest confidences, and ingratiated himself into their lives. Then, in one fell swoop, he betrayed them in the most surprising and shocking way possible.

Bestselling biographer Laurence Leamer delves into the years following the acclaimed publication of Breakfast at Tiffany‘s in 1958 and In Cold Blood in 1966, when Capote struggled with a crippling case of writer’s block. While enjoying all the fruits of his success–including cultivating close friendships with the richest and most admired women of the era–he was struck with an idea for what he was sure would be his most celebrated novel…one based on the remarkable, racy lives of his very, very rich friends.

For years, Capote attempted to write what he believed would have been his magnum opus, Answered Prayers. But when he eventually published a few chapters in Esquire, the thinly fictionalized lives (and scandals) of his closest female confidantes were laid bare for all to see. The blowback incinerated his relationships and banished Capote from their high-society world forever…a world that was already crumbling, though none of them realized it yet. Laurence Leamer recreates in detail the lives of these fascinating swans, their friendships with Capote and one another, and the doomed quest to write what could have been one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century.


About the Author:

Laurence Leamer is the New York Times bestselling author of Madness Under the Royal Palms and The Kennedy Women, among many other books. He lives in Washington, D.C., and Palm Beach, Florida.

About the Moderator: 

Julia Cooke is a journalist and travel writer whose features and essays have been published in Time, Smithsonian, Tin House, Condé Nast Traveler, Saveur, and Virginia Quarterly Review, where she is a contributing editor. Her writing has been anthologized in the Best American Travel Writing and Best Women’s Travel Writing collections. She is the author of Come Fly the World: The Jet Age Story of the Women of Pan Am (HMH, 2021) and The Other Side of Paradise: Life in the New Cuba (Seal, 2014). She lives in Vermont.