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A Classic Fictional Name Was a Last-Minute Switch

Truman Capote made it 'Holly Golightly' in manuscript, which is now up for auction
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2020 5:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – Even those who haven't read Breakfast at Tiffany's or seen the movie starring Audrey Hepburn might be familiar with her character's name of Holly Golightly. But what only diehard fans might know is that author Truman Capote originally named the character Connie Gustafson—only to scratch the name out and replace it in his final 1958 manuscript, reports the Guardian. Now, Sotheby's is putting up for auction that very manuscript, and it could fetch up to $230,000 next week.

“Holly Golightly is such a magnificent name—it is instantly memorable," says Sotheby’s books specialist Gabriel Heaton. "It is also a great comic name in itself, and, as with all comic characters, the name is an extremely important element." That's far from the only Capote edit in the manuscript. It shows changes big and small, from the deletions of lines about sex to word-choice substitutions throughout. (Read more Truman Capote stories.)

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