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Such Good Friends: A Novel of Truman Capote & Lee Radziwill (Paperback)
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“Fans of Capote and the era of Camelot should be delighted.” —Shana Abé, New York Times bestselling author of The Second Mrs. Astor
“A rollicking ride that’s equal parts gossip, tenderness and emotional truth.” - Janet Somerville, The Toronto Star
A must-read for fans of Truman Capote and Jackie Kennedy, this star-studded, evocative novel revels in the glamor, gossip, and casual betrayal of 1960s and ’70s high society New York and the socialite “swans” that ruled this scandalous world.
On a Thursday morning in May 1961, a well-mannered twenty-one-year-old named Marlene enters the Fifth Avenue apartment of Lee Radziwill to interview for the position of housekeeper and cook. The stylish wife of London-based Prince Stanislaw Radziwill, Princess Lee is intelligent and creative, with ambitions beyond simply jet-setting. But to the public, she is always First Lady Jackie Kennedy’s little sister.
As Marlene becomes a trusted presence in the Radziwill household, she observes the dazzling array of famous figures who flit in and out of Lee’s intimate circle, including Gloria Vanderbilt, Rudolf Nureyev, Jackie and the President, Ari Onassis, Gore Vidal, Andy Warhol, and, most regularly, celebrated author Truman Capote. At the height of his fame following the success of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Truman has granted Lee place of honor in his flock of glamorous socialite “swans.”
Their closeness stems from an unexpected kinship. Both know too well the feeling of being second-best. Seeing his shadow in the woman he refers to as his most unconventional swan, Truman uses his influence and talent to try and make Lee a star.
Their bond deepens through the decade’s extraordinary events, from JFK’s assassination to the era-defining Black and White Ball. But Marlene, who Truman has taken under his wing as an aspiring writer, can see Truman’s darker side—especially his penchant for mining his friends’ private lives for material. And there are betrayals on either side that may signal the end not just of a friendship, but of the shared expectation that wealth and fame can shield against every heartbreak.
About the Author
Stephen Greco is a novelist, journalist, media executive, editor, dramatist and Executive Director of the Ferro-Grumley Literary Awards, which he co-founded in 1988. He is a regular contributor to the magazine Upstate Diary and has contributed as a feature writer and editor to numerous publications including Interview magazine, New York magazine, Air Mail, The Advocate, American Way, Art News, Dance Magazine, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Latina, the London Observer, Stagebill, and The New York Times online. He is currently the Editorial Director of InsideRisk, an immersive experiential event company, and his theatrical writing includes several works produced by the entertainment company and multimedia studio Giants Are Small. He previously served as founding Director of Content for Classical TV and is a frequent panelist and speaker on cultural and branding issues. Stephen Greco lives in Brooklyn, New York and can be found on Instagram at @StephenGreco.
Praise for SUCH GOOD FRIENDS
“Explores with aplomb the luxurious jet-set life of its subjects, and their abiding friendship in the 1960s and 1970s… With cameos from Leonard Bernstein, Rudolf Nureyev and Andy Warhol, it’s a crash course in the pop culture of the time. A rollicking ride that’s equal parts gossip, tenderness and emotional truth.” - Janet Somerville, The Toronto Star
“A mesmerizing account of extravagance, glamour, privileged celebrity, and crushing betrayal. Greco’s fabled protagonists capture the explosive alchemy between privacy and ambition, and the self-destructive caprices that upended an era.” —C.W. Gortner, author of The American Adventuress
“A thoughtful examination of the precarious bonds of friendship, fame and fortune. Greco’s Such Good Friends stars two of the most notable personalities of their time, Truman Capote and Lee Radziwill, sister of Jackie Kennedy. Sweepingly detailed, with glamour and mystery woven throughout. Fans of Capote and the era of Camelot should be delighted.” —Shana Abe, bestselling author of The Second Mrs. Astor
“Such Good Friends seamlessly blends high society glamour with human frailties in this vivid recreation of celebrated writer Truman Capote’s and New York socialite Lee Radziwell’s complicated friendship that spanned from the 1950s into the 1970s. —Mary Ellen Taylor, Amazon bestselling author
“Fascinating and effervescent... Using a brilliant narrative overlay, author Stephen Greco brings the charismatic author of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood to life with the type of biting wit, trenchant social commentary, and keen grasp of human nature for which he was celebrated. Insightful, intriguing and endlessly entertaining, Such Good Friends captures a platonic yet deeply passionate friendship that had all the faultlines of a doomed romance, and the seismic influence of Capote and Radziwill on their respective worlds, and each other.” —Natalie Jenner, author of the international bestseller The Jane Austen Society and Bloomsbury Girls
“A deeply immersive and endlessly fascinating novel grounded in a true story I only thought I knew. Greco constantly surprised me with fresh perspectives and new insights as the story unfolded, seamlessly weaving together fact and fiction…A deeply personal portrait of a friendship between two unique people whose lives encompassed world travel, high society, popular culture, and human frailty.” —Kim Van Alkemade, New York Times bestselling author of Orphan # 8
“THIS HAS EVERYTHING – a virtual who’s who filled with gossip, opulent gatherings, haute couture fashion, glamour, and of course tragedy! It’s the smallest details that give the richest reward in this sumptuous novel. Just try to stop yourself from seeking out vintage footage of these two – you’ll delightfully Google your way thru nostalgic photos. In a word this book is simply fabulous!” —Julie Slavinsky, Warwick’s (La Jolla, CA)
“A beguiling retelling of Truman Capote’s friendship with charismatic Princess Radziwell as told by her housekeeper who has her own dark secrets. The pages just ooze with glamour and glitz.” —Fran Ziegler, Titcomb’s Bookshop (East Sandwich, MA)
“Elegant, satisfying . . . compelled me down a sumptuous, electrifying rabbit hole of 1950s-1970s New York City. Greco skillfully depicts the blurred line between fiction and nonfiction on so many levels. A pleasure of a novel!” —Robin Stern, Books Inc., (San Francisco, CA)
“Captures the nuances of those whose larger-than-life experiences have fascinated the public for generations. Readers will question what makes their own lives so different from those of Capote, Radziwill, and their contemporaries; and also consider what all people hold in common—the insecurities, eccentricities, and vulnerabilities which belie the very human frailties and desires shared by us all.” —Donna Rasmussen, Randolph Public Library (Randolph, NJ)