April 27, 2012

Truman Capote’s typewriter goes for a song


If you’d had a spare $8,000-odd lying around over the last few days, you could now be the proud owner of Truman Capote’s typewriter. It’s just sold on ebay for $8,281, and, as the Paris Review observed, the lot only drew two bidders!

The typewriter — in full working order — comes with a notarised letter from 1978 reading:

To: ( the buyer )

I am selling the typewriter, paper, stationary and personal hat of Mr. Truman Capote.

All of these personal things were given to me by Mr. Capote. I picked him up from the airport in Kansas City, Missouri several times and drove him to Holcomb, Kansas. Mr. Capote was getting information on a crime that took place there for a book he was writing.

We became lifetime friends and I visited him twice in Los Angeles, California.

The listing goes on to say that, while nothing can be guaranteed, this is probably the typewriter that In Cold Blood was written on.

Poor old Truman — this is a steal!

Remember Cormac McCarthy’s typewriter fetching $254,500 at auction just over two years ago?


Ellie Robins is an editor at Melville House. Previously, she was managing editor of Hesperus Press.