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The Crime Lady: New Projects Ahead
Dear TCL Readers,
Well, it’s certainly been a while. But I’m back in your inboxes after so long to tell you what I’ve been up to over the past six months, and what will occupy my time for the next few years.
Next summer — July 2023 to be more precise — Ecco will publish my next anthology, Evidence of Things Seen: True Crime in an Era of Reckoning. (Some pre-order links aren’t online yet, but the ones from Amazon and Barnes & Noble are.) It is a companion and follow-up to Unspeakable Acts, building on the pieces and scope of the latter third of that earlier anthology to further explore what we even mean by “true crime”, especially after the last few years of protest, pandemic, instability, inequality, and reproductive rights rollbacks. Here’s the jacket copy:
True crime, as an entertainment genre, has always prioritized clear narrative arcs: victims wronged, police detectives in pursuit, suspects apprehended, justice delivered. But what stories have been ignored?
In Evidence of Things Seen, fourteen of the most innovative crime writers working today cast a light on the cases that give crucial insight into our society. Wesley Lowery writes about a lynching left unsolved for decades by an indifferent police force and a family's quest for answers. Justine van der Leun reports on the thousands of women in prison for defending themselves from abuse. May Jeong reveals how the Atlanta spa shootings tell a story of America.
Edited by acclaimed writer Sarah Weinman, and with an introduction by attorney and host of the Undisclosed podcast Rabia Chaudry, this anthology pulls back the curtain on how crime itself is a by-product of America's systemic harms and inequalities. And in doing so, it reveals how the genre of true crime can be a catalyst for social change. These works combine brilliant storytelling with incisive cultural examinations--and challenge each of us to ask what justice should look like. Evidence of Things Seen introduces the new classics of true crime.
I’m thrilled to have an introductory essay from Rabia Chaudry, whose name may be initially familiar from Serial in 2014 (and most recently after Adnan Syed’s conviction was vacated last month, and charges fully dropped this past week — I wrote about it and the state of true crime podcasts for BuzzFeed), but is a real podcasting and writing force of her own now. The lineup of writers whose pieces are being reprinted is stellar, and I can’t wait to share more about these works in the near-future.
The paperback edition of Scoundrel, with a brand-new cover and subtitle, will be published on February 7, 2023. I’ve been so glad to see the book find its readership and reap the benefits of some truly excellent and thoughtful reviews. I was also lucky enough to appear on the Know Your Enemy podcast, as the conversation between me, Matthew Sitman, and Sam Adler-Bell (who reviewed Scoundrel for The New Republic) was a true delight. Scoundrel was also glowingly recommended by Jasmine Guillory on the Today Show over the summer, too.
Publicity plans for the paperback are still being formulated but I will say that if you are an independent bookstore in the South, I would especially love to visit you in February or March.
Otherwise, my time is occupied in the short-term by the Crime column, and the longer term on my next book, Without Consent. Here’s the Publishers Marketplace deal announcement:
The 1978 case was Oregon v. Rideout, and the national limelight around the case made it into a circus and also obscured the actual wife and husband, Greta and John Rideout, at the center, turning them into media spectacles when neither they, nor most anyone in their immediate orbit, was prepared for what would happen. What did happen was state-by-state changes in the criminalization of spousal rape, as well as more immediate (as in, last month, in a trial I attended) criminal proceedings that had a marked feeling of deja vu.
This book project has already taken me in directions I had not anticipated, and which, because of the subject matter, is a real test of mettle. But the story I want to tell in Without Consent is one that feels even more timely and urgent, requiring even greater care and sensitivity, as well as deeper research and thinking, than my prior two books. Challenging? Absolutely. But its a challenge I look forward to meeting over the next few years of research, reporting, and writing.
Finally, a couple of virtual events to announce. NoirCon, which returns after a four-year hiatus as a virtual event between October 21-23, has awarded me the Anne Friedberg Award for Contributions to Noir and Its Preservation. (I’ll be in conversation on the 22nd with Steph Cha.) It’s wonderful to be in the 2022 honorees company of Megan Abbott and Marcia Muller & Bill Pronzini (as well as 2018 winners Walter Mosley, Dana Polan, and Geoffrey O’Brien & Max Rudin). Further information on registering and the events schedule can be found here.
And on Wednesday, November 9, I will be reading and discussing Scoundrel as part of the Canadian Cancer Research Society’s annual Read for the Cure events series. I’m on the bill with Martha Wainwright and Elizabeth Strout, which is an incredible sentence to type. Details here.
There will be at least one more dispatch before the end of the year. Until then, I remain,
The Crime Lady