Long before Truman Capote became famous for his 1966 true crime novel In Cold Blood, he was a New York City- and Greenwich, Connecticut-raised teenager whose rural Alabama roots contradicted his privileged prep school lifestyle. But even as an adolescent caught between two worlds, Capote was already a prolific writer.
Several years ago, a Swiss publisher was browsing through Capote’s papers in the New York Public Library’s archives, in search of a lost novel. Instead, he re-discovered 14 overlooked short stories that the author had written before he was 20. Some of them had been published in Capote’s school magazine, but the greater public had never read the majority of the works. Penguin compiled the stories into a collection, which the publishing house released as The Early Stories of Truman Capote this fall.
As an openly gay man during a time period in which homosexuality was taboo, Capote’s early stories naturally featured individuals who felt like outsiders. Out magazine recently ran one of these pieces, “Parting of the Way,” which tells the story of two hobos who become embroiled in an argument over money. First published in Greenwich High School’s literary magazine in 1940, the work showcases the young author’s emerging voice and can now be read in its entirety online.