The Tiffany Network

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Truman Capote‘s Breakfast at Tiffany‘s—Vintage has released a commemorative edition—and there’s still speculation about whom Holly Golightly was modeled after. A piece in Ireland’s Independent suggests it may be writer Maeve Brennan; Capote biographer Gerald Clarke argues to the AP that she was based on many women in the author’s circle, including “Gloria Vanderbilt, Carol Matthau, Oona Chaplin, Doris Lilly and his mother, Nina, who vanquished her rural Southern upbringing by dropping the name Lillie Mae. (The fictional Holly’s real name: Lulamae Barnes.)”

Everybody writing about the book notes that the film version was a botch: A feature in the Stamford Advocate quotes Fairfield University American studies professor Leo O’Connor as saying, ““They totally blew it….There’s great music and Audrey Hepburn is very good, but they made it into a love story. You can’t believe Audrey Hepburn was ever the wife of a middle-aged farmer.” Cultural critic Neal Gabler, in the AP piece, mentions an idea about the book that doesn’t get mentioned as much, though: Only a gay man could have created Golightly. ““Because a heterosexual man wouldn’t have imagined her, and I’m not sure that women would have imagined her that way,” he says.

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