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The essay is a critique of the feminine image that Capote steals from women authors to become a ‘white girl.’ Als suggests that by offering a ‘controversial’ author photograph, Capote morphs into a woman to talk about the queerness of his characters in a voice that is uniquely feminine. Thus, Capote becomes a white girl to replace the other female writers such as Eudora Welty and Carson McCullers. Als offers an example of Welty’s literary voice and an example of Capote’s writing to point out the similarity in syntax.

However, he grows from his white girl image from the publication of his second book, which is in the traditional male writing. This publication later becomes Capote’s redemption piece or him ‘writing woman without malice.’ As a ‘white girl’, he is given the privilege that real women does not have, such as the ability to publish books during those years. Yet, when Capote is faced with “the authenticity behind Jane Bowles’ ‘feline sophistication’,” his career as a ‘woman’ comes to an end. Thus, Hilton Als is telling us, no matter how authentic he may try to be, Capote cannot truly surpass the identity of women when he himself isn’t truly a woman.

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