A little over a decade ago, Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott became fascinated with a particular moment in the life of Truman Capote. Like Capote's In Cold Blood
, Swan Song
is a non-fiction novel based on exhaustive research but told with a novelists flair and a screenwriters gift for dialogue.
With In Cold Blood, Truman Capote had achieved wild acclaim, was the darling of the press and had developed close bonds with iconic tastemakers and jet-setters, Babe Paley, Slim Keith, C.Z. Guest, Gloria Guinness, Marella Agnelli and Lee Radziwill, the IT girls of their day, and whom he referred to as his 'Swans'.
Yet, by 1975 Truman was suffering from writer's block and was eight years delinquent delivering his next manuscript. Inexplicably and devastatingly, he published excerpts from his savage roman à clef Answered Prayers in Esquire magazine. This thinly-veiled account of his Swans' deepest secrets savagely betrays the confidences of his inner circle and spells professional and social suicide for Truman Capote.
In her novel Swan Song, Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott brilliantly inhabits the lives of the extraordinary women whose company Capote so treasured and so betrayed.
'A whirlwind of a first novel. There is great pathos in the Swans' woundings and in their inevitable decline. And the character of Truman himself shimmers through the novel in a wonderful blaze of eccentricity and excess. Outstanding.' -Rose Tremain
'A completely fascinating novel and a marvellously skillful re-imagining of real people, times and places.' -William Boyd
'This clever book, with the moreish astringency of a negroni, is a perfect summer cocktail.' -Sunday Times
'Greenberg-Jephcott's debut is a devastating read that blurs the lines between vulnerability and narcissism; sex and power. And, ultimately, it is Capote's self-destruction that will have you racing breathlessly towards the end questioning it all.' -The Pool