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  • Published: 18 June 2018
  • ISBN: 9781786331069
  • Imprint: Hutchinson
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 480
  • RRP: $32.99

Swan Song

Longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2019

A dazzling debut about Truman Capote, the literary icon of his age, and the beautiful, wealthy, vulnerable women he called his Swans.

'A completely fascinating novel and a marvellously skillful re-imagining of real people, times and places. Outstanding.' -William Boyd
They told him everything.
He told everyone else.

Over countless martini-soaked Manhattan lunches, they shared their deepest secrets and greatest fears. On exclusive yachts sailing the Mediterranean, on private jets streaming towards Jamaica, on Yucatán beaches in secluded bays, they gossiped about sex, power, money, love and fame. They never imagined he would betray them so absolutely.

In the autumn of 1975, after two decades of intimate friendships, Truman Capote detonated a literary grenade, forever rupturing the elite circle he’d worked so hard to infiltrate. Why did he do it, knowing what he stood to lose? Was it to punish them? To make them pay for their manners, money and celebrated names? Or did he simply refuse to believe that they could ever stop loving him? Whatever the motive, one thing remains indisputable: nine years after achieving wild success with In Cold Blood, Capote committed an act of professional and social suicide with his most lethal of weapons . . . Words.

A dazzling debut about the line between gossip and slander, self-creation and self-preservation, SWAN SONG is the tragic story of the literary icon of his age and the beautiful, wealthy, vulnerable women he called his Swans.

‘Writers write. And one can’t be surprised if they write what they know.’

  • Pub date: 18 June 2018
  • ISBN: 9781786331069
  • Imprint: Hutchinson
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 480
  • RRP: $32.99

About the Author

Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott

Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott was born and raised in Houston, Texas, before coming to call Los Angeles and London her adopted homes. She is a graduate of UEA’s Creative Writing MA course and was the winner of the Bridport Prize Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award. Swan Song is her first novel.

Praise for Swan Song

“A dazzlingly assured first novel... This clever book, with the moreish astringency of a negroni, is a perfect summer cocktail”

The Sunday Times

“Gorgeous... That glittering world - all Dom Perignon, Sobranies, Quaalude and Chanel - is recreated with a lovely eye for detail”

Robbie Millen, The Times

“A sparkling debut vividly captures the high society women who punished Capote for his indiscreet reporting”

The Guardian

“Brilliantly captures Capote’s acid wit and his dramatic downfall.”


“A rich, sharp, sting of a book. It made me laugh and grimace and pity monsters. I'm still smiling about it”

Stu Turton, bestselling author of THE SEVEN DEATHS OF EVELYN HARDCASTLE

“A whirlwind of a first novel. There is great pathos in the Swans’ woundings and in their inevitable decline. And the character of Truman himself shimmers through the novel in a wonderful blaze of eccentricity and excess. Outstanding.”

Rose Tremain

“This is a first novel of extraordinary skill, a book of which Capote would have been proud”

Alex Preston, The Observer

“A completely fascinating novel and a marvellously skillful re-imagining of real people, times and places. Outstanding.”

William Boyd

“If a writer is going to craft a novel from well-known events, they might as well do it with brio, which this has in spades…A skilled and sparking debut”

Suzi Feay, Guardian

“Our generation’s The Secret History”


“[A] seductive spellbinding debut... Greenberg-Jephcott beautifully captures the pain and poignancy alongside the privilege”

S Magazine, Sunday Express

“A moving account of Capote's own giddy, talent-fuelled ascent and the self-destructive plummet that follows”

Mail on Sunday

“Since reading the totally, totally beautiful Swan Song, I have two new hobbies. Googling photos of Barbara Paley and watching videos of the Camel Walk.”

Dolly Alderton

“Brilliantly written, deeply researched, funny, sharp and moving, this wonderful book marks the debut of a major talent.”

Kate Williams, bestselling author of Josephine

“Scandalous, frenetic, amusing and tragic, this throws open the doors to a privileged world driven by money, sex, power and influence, where stakes are high and, when trust is broken, there’s much to lose.”

Daily Mail

“Swan Song is magnificent. For all the swagger and swish and intrigue, it is consistently well supported with perfect, juicy sentences. Utter corker”

Fiona Melrose

“Swan Song is a whirlwind tour of private jets to Mexico resorts, playboys’ yachts in the Mediterranean, Manhattan martini lunches and so much scandal ... [A] riveting novel”


“Perfect holiday novel, Swan Song by Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott. Truman Capote’s struggle with art and society reimagined”

Linda Grant, author of THE DARK CIRCLE

“Triumphant debut…remarkable”

Woman & Home

“Simultaneously fabulous and tragic, Swan Song is an incredibly accomplished debut”


“A vivid debut … based on ten years of research, this is a dazzling read that’s been worth the wait”

Image Magazine

“Stunning... It’s probably one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever owned”

Bookish Chat Blog

“Hypnotically fascinating”

The Arts Desk

“Greenberg-Jephcott's debut is a devastating read that blurs the lines between vulnerability and narcissism; sex and power. And, ultimately, it is Capote's self-destruction that will have you racing breathlessly towards the end”

The Pool

“The book is dripping with atmosphere and character and is such a pleasure to read.”

And Then I Read A Book blog

“Impressive and clever reimagining of Truman Capote’s fall from grace.”

Sunday Times

“A brilliant first novel”

Rose Tremain, Daily Mail

“A fascinating look at American high society in the Sixties and Seventies, and a portrait of a talented writer who couldn’t resist gossip, even if meant ruining his life”


“Pure pleasure”

Evening Standard Magazine

“A stunning debut novel that seamlessly blends history, fact and fiction in this imaginative re-telling of the life of novelist Truman Capote”

Woman's Weekly

“A slick debut pulled off with brio, Swan Song is glamorous, vivid and sometimes even daring in its intelligence”

Irish Times

“She deftly gives us an insight into their inner lives... while creating defined personalities that resonate and intrigue. Lyrical and fascinating, the fact that this is Greenberg-Jephcott's debut is astounding.”

Emerald Street

“As deliciously gossipy as it is wretched, and Greenberg-Jephcott's unique rendering of Capote's squealing drawl of a voice is unforgettable.”

Frankie McCoy, Evening Standard BOOKS OF THE YEAR

“A dazzling read”

Image magazine

“Greenberg-Jephcott’s debut is fizzing with energy and ideas…The novel has style and substance in spades.”


“With a grounding in history, it is a fascinating read about the deepest secrets of an iconic author.”


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