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19 Candid Shots of Literary Lions in Their (Oft Messy) Homes

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Famous intellectuals are just the best sort of people to see in their natural habitats. The greatest of them are fascinating walking paradoxes: they're world-reknown, yet enigmatic. Writers, particularly, are a joy to catch at home, because it is there—in the garden shed, the slouchy armchair, the backyard hammock—that most of the magic happens. It's why authors' abodes are fascinating to explore, and why these guileless black-and-white shots are here for the ogling. First up, Truman Capote in his decadent NYC homestead. It's unclear if this 1977 photo takes place in the Brooklyn Heights manse that just this year sent real estate nuts into tizzy, having sold for $12M, the biggest sale in the borough's history. Still, the photo shows off Capote's obvious flair for the opulent. Capote was always one for a touch of flamboyance—that sofa, the friendship with Andy Warhol, the pose photographer Arnold Newman insisted was Capote au naturel—so it shouldn't be a surprise that it was his home, what with the 18 rooms and 11 fireplaces, that set the record.

Flip through the gallery for more, including Ray Bradbury in his extremely cluttered living room, George Bernard Shaw in the backyard shack he put on a lazy susan, and Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas in their surprisingly plush Paris digs.

· The Studied Homes of a Few Literary Greats [Curbed National]
· Truman Capote's Heights House Sells for Borough Record [Curbed NY]