Handcarved Coffins

New York: United Artists, Circa 1980. Story script for an unproduced film based on the novella "Hand-Carved Coffins" by Truman Capote, originally published in his 1980 story collection "Music for Chameleons." An exact match to the published text in the novella, and credited on the title page to United Artists, thus clearly printed for their use and ultimately unproduced.

One of Capote's most controversial stories, a supposedly nonfictional account of a series of murders in the American Midwest in which the victims were killed by rattlesnakes, after having been mailed small wooden coffins as a warning. Stylistically very much a followup to his most successful novel "In Cold Blood."

During his lifetime, Capote divulged as little information as possible about the case, insisting that he had told more of the specifics to producer Lester Persky after he had purchased the rights to the film. This was later refuted by Peter and Leni Gillman in their 1992 "Sunday Times Magazine" article "HOAX: Secrets that Truman Capote took to the grave." The Gillmans found that a similar case had indeed occurred but that Capote had taken significant liberties, using the case as only a starting point and then blending fact and fiction to create "Handcarved Coffins."

Set in Nebraska.

Burgandy titled Studio Duplicating Service wrappers. Title page present, with copy No. 6 noted in holograph ink, credits for writer Truman Capote and producer Lester Persky. 101 leaves, with last page of text numbered 100. Mimeograph, rectos only. Pages Fine, wrapper Near Fine, bound with two gold brads.


[Book #144404]

Price: $1,500.00