7. Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958)
Author: Truman Capote
Areas Featured: Upper East Side
There is a class of men and women that are as much a part of the scenery of New York City as park benches and neon store fronts. They're beautiful people who dress to present their style to the public. They seemingly have little else to do. You'll be on your way to work a weekend shift, and you'll pass them nibbling on brunch. On the way home, you'll see them smoking in front of a bar a few blocks down from brunch.
In a town where rent is so damn high, these people don't invite much sympathy. The great trick that Truman Capote pulls off in this slender volume is to paint a sympathetic portrait of one of these so-called "café-society girls."
So much about Holly Golightly is superficially distasteful, with her collections of baubles given as gifts from sad old men. The repeated invitations to judge her sets the reader up for the emotional reveals, when Holly's vulnerability is made plain.
Like in this passage: "Good luck: and believe me, dearest Doc -- it's better to look at the sky than live there. Such an empty place; so vague. Just a country where the thunder goes and things disappear." —BG