9780470098219

Party of the Century: The Fabulous Story of Truman Capote and His Black and White Ball

Davis, Deborah

ISBN 10: 047009821X / 0-470-09821-X
ISBN 13: 9780470098219
Publisher: Wiley
Publication Date: 2007
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews:
Synopsis:
In 1966, everyone who was anyone wanted an invitation to Truman Capote's "Black and White Dance" in New York, and guests included Frank Sinatra, Norman Mailer, C. Z. Guest, Kennedys, Rockefellers, and more. Lavishly illustrated with photographs and drawings of the guests, this portrait of revelry at the height of the swirling, swinging sixties is a must for anyone interested in American popular culture and the lifestyles of the rich, famous, and talented.

Review:

Flush with the massive bestsellerdom of In Cold Blood, which earned him millions, Capote decided to throw an extraordinary masked ball—partly in honor of his friend the Washington Post president Katharine Graham and partly to celebrate his own success at the end of the grueling process of writing the book—at New York's legendary Plaza Hotel. The invitees were to wear just two colors: black and white. For several months, the most sought-after piece of paper in New York and jet-setting society was the tasteful white card bearing the words "Mr. Truman Capote requests the pleasure of your company at a Black and White Dance." Everyone who was anyone wanted the invitation. Capote boasted that he invited five hundred friends but made fifteen thousand enemies—those who weren't invited.

The glittering roster of guests included newlyweds Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow, the young actress Candice Bergen, literary lions Norman Mailer and William F. Buckley, and various international crowned heads, Kennedys, Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, and Whitneys. Truman made sure to invite his carefully cultivated society friends, the flock of wealthy, elegant, ultra-fashionable society matrons whom Capote called his "swans" and who included Babe Paley, C. Z. Guest, Slim Keith, Gloria Guinness, and Marella Agnelli. Wanting to keep the party mix interesting and unpredictable, Capote also invited people from the town where the murders from In Cold Blood occurred, publishing types, and even the doorman from the U.N. Plaza, his apartment building.

In this vivid and delightful narrative, Deborah Davis chronicles all the social whirl of the preparation and the anticipation leading up to the party, including delicious facts such as where the guests bought their gowns and diamonds, how they chose their masks designed by the likes of Adolfo and Halston, and where they dined before the party. Then, in fascinating detail, Davis captures the drama and excitement of the ball itself. Unlike many such ballyhooed events, this evening truly lived up to its fanfare: Alice Roosevelt Longworth told the New York Times that the party was "the most exquisite of spectator sports."

Lavishly illustrated with photographs and drawings of the guests and their gorgeous and extravagant costumes, masks, and jewels and including the guest list, the recipe for the Plaza chicken hash served at the ball, and other memorabilia, this portrait of revelry at the height of the swirling, swinging, turbulent sixties will be the book of the season for anyone interested in American popular culture and the lifestyles and legacies of the rich, famous, and talented.

From the Inside Flap

Review:
"A tantalizing aperitif?a confection of a book."
Cleveland Plain Dealer

"One of the best reads of the season."
—Billy Norwich, Vogue

In Party of the Century, Deborah Davis transports readers back to the Oz-like splendor of New York in 1966, where Truman Capote, at the pinnacle of his fame after the huge bestsellerdom of In Cold Blood, threw himself the party to end all parties. Everyone who was anyone wanted an invitation to Capote's "Black and White Dance," to which the guests were instructed to wear masks and just two colors—black and white. The glittering roster of guests included newlyweds Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow, the young actress Candice Bergen, writers Norman Mailer and William F. Buckley, various international crowned heads, Kennedys, Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, and Whitneys, and style divas Babe Paley, Slim Keith, and C. Z. Guest. In this vivid and delightful narrative, Deborah Davis chronicles the social whirl of the preparation and the anticipation leading up to the party, plus the drama and excitement of the ball itself.

Lavishly illustrated with photographs and drawings of the guests and their extravagant costumes, masks, and jewels designed by the likes of Halston and Adolfo, this portrait of revelry at the height of the swirling, swinging, turbulent sixties is a must for anyone interested in American popular culture and the lifestyles of the rich, famous, and talented.

"Captures the spirit and significance of the occasion with new material and fresh perspective, making this a party worth crashing."
Town & Country

"Vastly entertaining."
—Liz Smith

"A stylish, sparkling little volume."
The Sunday Times Book Review (London)

From the Back Cover

 

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Book Description: Turner Publishing Company, United Kingdom, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 228 x 145 mm. Brand New Book. In 1966, everyone who was anyone wanted an invitation to Truman Capote s Black and White Dance in New York, and guests included Frank Sinatra, Norman Mailer, C. Z. Guest, Kennedys, Rockefellers, and more. Lavishly illustrated with photographs and drawings of the guests, this portrait of revelry at the height of the swirling, swinging sixties is a must for anyone interested in American popular culture and the lifestyles of the rich, famous, and talented. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780470098219

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