The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin Summary Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Swans of Fifth Avenue

Plot Summary Part 1

The book introduces us to a homosexual writer named Truman Capote who is friends with a lot of high society women in New York he calls his "swans". I think the reason he calls them his swans is a gay thing; heterosexual guys usually have men friends, so Truman chose an effeminate animal, a swan, to name his many girl-friends, to underscore the fact that he is homosexual. Note that these are indeed girl-friends and not girlfriends, as Truman only makes love to the asses of other men.

Truman tells Babe the story of how his Mom was a prostitute and how she died of a drug overdose. He never knew his father either so he grew up without parents. He has mommie issues--he calls Babe "Mommie" and his swans call him "little boy", as if his lack of interest in v_gina makes him a little boy in their eyes.

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When William Paley, the head of CBS, sees Truman spending so much time with his wife, he has mixed feelings. On the one hand, since he knows that Truman only makes love to the asses of other men, he knows his wife can't be boned by him. On the other hand, he senses the emotional connection between the two and becomes jealous of it. When he sees the two dancing and sees how happy Babe is, happier than she has been with him, he becomes really jealous.

Still, Bill couldn't help but like Truman too. One time Truman asked for a private talk. Paley thought he might try to make love to his anus, but Truman was a perfect gentleman. They had a good conversation and Paley realized he was a good listener, as all Truman's "Swans" did.

Babe was injured in a car accident and has scars and false teeth. So she always wears makeup to cover her scars. Truman takes off her makeup and tells her how beautiful she is.

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