NOPL North Syracuse Library is hosting a special HumanitiesNY reading and discussion program with the theme “In Cold Blood: True Crime, an American Genre.”

2016 marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, a pioneering work of new journalism and true crime writing. Taking Capote’s pivotal book as a starting point, this series invites participants to delve into the history and literature of American crime.

The six-part series begins with an introductory session on Monday, March 11 at 6pm.  Reading materials will be available for pickup at this session. For more information contact the library at 315-458-6184.

Here are all the dates in the series, as well as the full reading list:

Monday, March 11 from 6-7:30pm
Monday, April 8 from 6-7:30pm
Monday, April 29 from 6-7:30pm
Monday, May 13 from 6-7:30pm
Monday, June 12 from 6-7:30pm
Monday, June 27 from 6-7:30pm


Blind Eye by James B StewartBlind Eye: The Terrifying Story of a Doctor who Got Away with Murder

Pulitzer Prize-winner James B. Stewart looks at the case of serial killer Dr. Michael Swango and the medical community that enabled his crimes.


Compulsion by Meyer LevinCompulsion

Inspired by the famous Leopold & Loeb case, Levin’s novel was the stylistic inspiration for In Cold Blood and one of the first classics of the true crime genre.


The Poisoner's Handbook by Deborah BlumThe Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York

A novelistic account of the efforts of Charles Norris and Alexander Gettler to use chemistry and medical science in investigating crime in 1920s New York.


Kitty Genovese by Kevin CookKitty Genovese: The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime that Changed America

Kevin Cook re-examines one of the most infamous murders in New York history, depicting how it resonated against the backdrop of change in the 1960s, and how the dark picture of human nature it seemed to illuminate needs re-evaluation.


True Crime by Harold SchechterTrue Crime: An American Anthology

Edited by Harold Schechter, our project scholar, this volume offers the first comprehensive overview of American writing on crime. True Crime ranges from Cotton Mather to James Ellroy.


In Cold BloodIn Cold Blood

By most accounts, this is Capote’s masterwork, and a foundational text in the history of American journalism. Initially published as a series of pieces in The New Yorker, this book delivers a nuanced tale of class, desperation, and crime. By turns ghastly and sensitive, In Cold Blood is a classic of the genre.