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SATURDAY

Philip Seymour Hoffman’s had a good year. After a widely (and rightly) lauded portrayal of Truman Capote, the future Mission: Impossible III star collected a formidable amount of Hollywood hardware. In the process, he also managed to help turn perhaps the daintiest little drama queen since Scarlett O’Hara into a mainstream-memorable, nearly heroic, $25-million-plus-grossing figure. His performance transforms Capote’s comically upper-octave timbre into a mark of brilliance. Of course, without In Cold Blood, and without Capote’s ability to make himself into the sort of spectacle that the good folks on the Left Coast would want to project onto however-many screens, Hoffman & Co. would have had nothing to work with. And film producers everywhere are no doubt aware that there are other Capotes out there. Take former Harper’s Magazine editor Willie Morris. Like Capote, Morris was a Southerner who landed in New York and commanded attention at a relatively young age. And like the Hoffman flick, one about Morris could easily cull plenty of drama from the man’s life. A fast rise to mentoring future literary legends punctuated by a fiery departure from the hallowed halls of Harper’s that, nonetheless, couldn’t keep him down? It’s the stuff of Oscar winners. A starting point could be former Morris acolyte Larry L. King’s book about his one-time boss, In Search of Willie Morris. King discusses his work at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 11, at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connective Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Mike Kanin)