Pink Triangle: The Feuds and Private Lives of Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, Truman Capote, and Famous Members of Their Entourages

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  • One hot summer night in 1945, three young American writers, each an enfant terrible, came together in a stuffy Manhattan
    apartment for the first time. Each member of this pink triangle was on the dawn of world fame—Tennessee Williams for A
    Streetcar Named Desire; Gore Vidal for his notorious homosexual novel, The City and the Pillar; and Truman Capote for
    Other Voices, Other Rooms, a book that had been marketed with a photograph depicting Capote as a underaged sex object
    that caused as much controversy as the prose inside.

    Each of the three remained competitively and defiantly provocative throughout the course of his writing career.
    Initially hailed by critics as “the darlings of the gods,” each of them would, in time, be attacked for his
    contributions to film, the theater, and publishing. Some of their works would be widely reviewed as “obscene rantings
    from perverted sociopaths.”

    From that summer night emerged betrayals that eventually evolved into lawsuits, stolen lovers, public insults, and the
    most famous and flamboyant rivalries in America’s literary history. The private opinions of these authors about their
    celebrity acquaintances usually left scar tissue.

    Vidal became the most iconoclastic writer since Voltaire, needling and satirizing the sacred cows of his era and
    explosively describing subjects which included America’s gay founding fathers, the lesbian affairs of Eleanor Roosevelt,
    his own seduction of the Beat Generation’s spiritual leader and guru, Jack Kerouac. The book contains an overview of
    Vidal’s hot, then glacial, relationship with the fabled diarist Anaïs Nin, and the drawn-out slugfests which followed.

    Capote became the mascot of the ultra-fashionable jet set, surrounded and showcased by his glamorous “swans.”
    Eventually, Capote feuded not only with Vidal, but with “The Queen of the Best-Sellers,” Jacqueline Susann, publicly
    referring to her as “a truck driver in drag.” Capote’s own struggles for bestsellerdom are depicted during the research
    of his all-time hit, In Cold Blood, wherein he falls hopelessly in love with one of its killers. The book contains
    details about his hosting of “The Party of the Century,” and his self-destructive descent into isolation, alcohol, and

    Tennessee Williams, attacked for his “incurable sense of decadence,” became as notorious as his plays. His tumultuous
    private life is explored as never before in a portrait that’s as poignant and flamboyant as any character he created,
    including that of Blanche DuBois. Did Tennessee really perform fellatio on JFK at his Palm Beach compound? Did Warren
    Beatty really have sex with him as a means of procuring his role as the gigolo in The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone? What
    really happened when a then-unknown actor, Marlon Brando, arrived on Tennessee’s doorstep in Provincetown during World
    War II?


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