Recollections of a cousin of Truman Capote's, as told to a friend and neighbor in Monroeville, Ala., Capote's childhood hometown. Carter tells of growing up with the even-then flamboyant author and with his friend Nelle Harper Lee, who went on to write To Kill a Mockingbird. Many of the vignettes here are amusing--e.g., a sideshow put on by the children in which a ""two-headed"" chicken is the prime attraction; some are moving--e.g., the last meeting between Capote and his cousin Sook, the heroine of the evocative short story ""A Christmas Memory."" And Carter is admirably frank in discussing the ways in which Capote's family failed the sensitive child. The adults of the family are depicted as self-absorbed and, in later years, scornful of Capote's effeminate ways. When, for example, Capote brought one of his male lovers to Monroeville, Carter's mother chased the pair from the house with screams and curses. But while these reminiscences present a generally sympathetic view of the demon-plagued author, they cannot avoid an air of exploitation. When Capote's aunt, Marie Rudisill, published her venomous biography (Truman Capote) in 1983, Capote was both hurt and infuriated; were he alive today, he might react similarly to this. Appearing less than a year after the publication of Gerald Clarke's superbly detailed Capote: A Biography, this adds little to an understanding of its subject. A charmingly written but extremely minor addition, then, to the Capote canon.