Friday, May 22, 2009

Truman Capote's Fruitcake Aunt

When teaching To Kill a Mockingbird, my kids were always surprised to learn that Dill was actually Truman Capote. Spending time with his aunts in Monroeville, Alabama, Capote was a childhood friend of Nelle Harper Lee.

The grown up Capote became a popular talk show guest becoming more and more outlandish with his comments. Often I would assume that he had spent a lot of time drinking before going on.

Capote captures his aunts in his short stories, A Christmas Memory and The Thanksgiving Visitor. One aunt, Edna Marie Rudisill, wrote a book on Fruitcakes and gained fame as an outspoken advice personality on Jay Leno's show. Rudisill died in November 2008, but it's interesting visualizing a young Capote/Dill reacting to this flamboyant aunt.

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