Read William Burroughs’ Trollish Open Letter to Truman Capote


Today brings an exciting new addition to our author-on-author insults collection courtesy of a rather nasty letter that William Burroughs wrote to Truman Capote in 1970, following the publication of In Cold Blood. His issue? Burroughs felt that Capote — who, it’s worth noting, he didn’t like all that much in the first place — had sold out his talent by penning a “dull and unreadable” book that “could have been written by any staff writer on the New Yorker.” But wait, it gets better.

“Enjoy your dirty money,” Burroughs writes. “You will never have anything else. You will never write another sentence above the level of In Cold Blood. As a writer you are finished. Over and out.” Funny enough, his warnings proved true; Capote would never publish another novel, unless you count his unfinished tell-all Answered Prayers (which most people don’t). Head over to Letter of Notes to read the full text of the letter now, and let us know in the comments if you believe in the power of the Burroughs curse!