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After the publication of McCullers's first two novels, she was known as a very influential Southern writer and someone other young (especially Southern) writers flocked to. Originally a friend of her sister Rita, McCullers met writer Truman Capote in 1946 at the Yaddo artists colony in Saratoga Springs, New York, where he was a humorous young newcomer working on his first book, Other Voices, Other Rooms. The Yaddo group at that time was very congenial, and McCullers and Capote became fast friends. Later that year when McCullers and husband Reeves were setting off for France, Capote appointed himself personal ambassador to help them off, and ended up staying at the McCullers's family home in Nyack, New York for several days attending to last minute details. McCullers, along with her sister Rita, was helpful in launching Truman's career, but in the end she felt ill-thanked for her help. After the publication of Capote's first two novels, McCullers became convinced that certain passages had been plagiarized from her own writings. Her retribution was swift—she broke ties with Capote and treated him standoffishly from then on.
Capote never lost his fondness for McCullers and her family, however, and is the only person to attend both Reeves funeral in Paris and McCullers's funeral in Nyack several years later.