Breakfast at Tiffany's Book Summary

A Short Novel and Three Stories

by Truman Capote58


Breakfast at Tiffany's is a novella by Truman Capote about a young woman in New York City, Holly Golightly, who seeks solace at Tiffany's while navigating life as an escort in search of a wealthy husband.

What is Breakfast at Tiffany's about

Breakfast at Tiffany's, by Truman Capote, centers around Holly Golightly, a young, enigmatic New York City socialite. The novella is set in the 1940s and explores themes of love, freedom, and identity through Holly's relationships and experiences. The story is narrated by a nameless writer who becomes fascinated with Holly's eccentric lifestyle and charm. Capote's nuanced characters and vivid writing make this work a quintessential piece of American literature. The book also includes three other short stories: House of Flowers, A Diamond Guitar, and A Christmas Memory, each showcasing Capote's storytelling prowess.

Breakfast at Tiffany's 6 Key Takeaways

Introduction to Holly Golightly

The narrator, a writer, moves into a New York City apartment and becomes intrigued by his neighbor, Holly Golightly, a glamorous and enigmatic socialite.

Holly's Lifestyle

Holly lives a carefree, adventurous life, working as an expensive escort and dreaming of marrying a wealthy man. She frequents expensive locales, including Tiffany's, which she finds calming.

Holly's Past

The narrator learns about Holly's past, including her humble beginnings and her transformation into a New York City socialite. This backstory adds depth to her character.

Romantic Entanglements

Holly develops complex relationships, including with the narrator and a wealthy Brazilian diplomat. These relationships reveal her vulnerabilities and desires.

Conflict and Resolution

Holly's life is disrupted by legal troubles and personal revelations. The story reaches its climax as Holly faces the consequences of her choices.

Ambiguous Ending

The novella concludes with an open-ended resolution, leaving Holly's ultimate fate uncertain, which adds to the story's enduring allure and complexity.

Breakfast at Tiffany's Best Reviews

  • The New York Times Book Review: 'Capote's ability to create vivid characters and capture the essence of a time and place is unparalleled. Breakfast at Tiffany's is a masterpiece of modern American literature.'
  • Los Angeles Times: 'Truman Capote's prose is as elegant and enchanting as Holly Golightly herself. This novella is a timeless exploration of love and identity.'

Top Breakfast at Tiffany's Quotes

  • “Anyone who ever gave you confidence, you owe them a lot.”
  • “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.”

Who should read Breakfast at Tiffany's?

Breakfast at Tiffany's is ideal for readers who enjoy character-driven narratives and explorations of complex themes such as love, identity, and societal norms. Fans of classic American literature and those intrigued by the glamour and grit of post-war New York City will find this novella particularly captivating.

About the Author

Truman Capote (1924-1984) was an American novelist, short story writer, and playwright. He is best known for his works Breakfast at Tiffany's and In Cold Blood. Capote's unique prose style and keen social insight made him one of the most prominent literary figures of the 20th century. His work often explored themes of human nature, morality, and the complexity of relationships. Capote's contributions to literature have left an enduring legacy, influencing countless writers and readers.

Breakfast at Tiffany's FAQs

What is Breakfast at Tiffany's about?

Breakfast at Tiffany's is a novella by Truman Capote that follows the life of Holly Golightly, a young socialite in New York City. The story, narrated by a writer who becomes fascinated with Holly, explores themes of love, freedom, and identity.

Is Breakfast at Tiffany's easy to read?

Yes, Breakfast at Tiffany's is considered relatively easy to read. The text may include some complex structures but is generally accessible, especially for readers familiar with contemporary fiction.

What does the book title Breakfast at Tiffany's mean?

The title refers to Holly Golightly's habit of visiting Tiffany's, an upscale jewelry store, when she feels anxious or overwhelmed. For Holly, Tiffany's represents a place of calm and stability in her otherwise tumultuous life.