American writer Truman Capote (1924 - 1984), the author of 'Breakfast At Tiffany's' in Milan negotiating a contract for his new nonfiction novel 'In Cold Blood'.   (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
American writer Truman Capote (1924 - 1984), the author of 'Breakfast At Tiffany's' in Milan negotiating a contract for his new nonfiction novel 'In Cold Blood'. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
(Keystone/Getty Images)

In Cold Blood made Truman Capote; “La Côte Basque 1965” ruined him. The publication of the latter in Esquire in 1975—a 13,000-word first-chapter excerpt from his then-forthcoming novel, Answered Prayers—saw Capote writing about many of his high-society friends, revealing their dirtiest secrets. The backlash to the piece was swift, and it led to Capote’s increased drug and alcohol abuse—and arguably, his eventual death. Read “La Côte Basque 1965” here.