Every year during what are called the “proceedings” at the annual meeting of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, commemorative tributes to members who have died during the year are read. Last spring, James Dickey offered the tribute to Truman Capote at a dinner meeting in the Academy Meeting Room.

  Dickey was somewhat surprised to be asked (which he was by letter) since he barely knew Capote. Indeed, his only firm recollection was a chance meeting in New York’s Gotham Book Mart at which—as Southerners tend to do—the two talked about relatives: Capote had an aunt “up ’round Buford way.”