THE GRASS HARP by Truman Capote

THE GRASS HARP

Including A Tree Of Night And Other Stories
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KIRKUS REVIEW

This second novel by Truman Capote is acute and contained, and provides an appealing modern folktale which is full of humor, tenderness and his particular type of antenna-awareness. Collin, a sixteen year old orphan, has the lead; he is sensitive, quiet, observant, allowing situations, other people and ideas to flow around him. He goes to live with his two cousins, Verena and Dolly Talbo, and theirs is a warm sort of kitchen life not unlike the kitchen of Carson McCullers' Member of the Wedding. Dolly is sixty and supposedly crazy; Verena is a frightening ramrod of a woman who becomes involved with a man named Morris Ritz; and there is also Catherine, a Negro, who stuffs cotton in her mouth instead of false teeth. Verena and Morris make plans to manufacture a dropsy remedy based on Dolly's secret formula, and when Dolly does not react favorably, Dolly and Collin and Catherine leave to go to live in a tree house where they establish a life of adventure, sought by the law and eventually by Verena herself. Meanwhile Morris Ritz has absconded with $12,700 plus $10,000 which was to buy the machinery to manufacture the formula... Warm and spirited, this is not a novel concerned with aberrations and abnormalities, though it is certainly pleasantly addled. It is also reminiscent of William Goyen's House of Breath in its use of the wind symbol and a poetic, fluid language.
Pub Date: June 15th, 1951
ISBN: 0679745572
Page count: 228pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1951




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