Summer Crossing

Written by Truman Capote
Review by Ann Oughton

Set in post-WWII New York, Summer Crossing tells the story of young socialite Grady McNeil. While her parents set sail for France to check on their war-damaged villa, Grady, left in the Fifth Avenue apartment, makes another kind of crossing when she begins an affair with a Jewish war veteran working as a parking lot attendant. The affair has disastrous consequences for her and those who care about her.

Capote wrote this debut novel when he was barely twenty. Lost for forty years, it was discovered in a cache of documents from a pavement outside his apartment in 2000. The character of Grady has been compared with that of Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and there is a kind of self-destructive free-spiritedness common to both. The writing is poetic, and the characters intriguing, involving the reader in an engrossing story from one of the greatest writers of the 20th century.