Unspeakable Acts: True Tales of Crime, Murder, Deceit, and Obsession (Paperback)
An NPR Best Book of the Year
A New York Times New & Noteworthy Book
A brilliant anthology of modern true-crime writing that illustrates the appeal of this powerful and popular genre, edited and curated by Sarah Weinman, the award-winning author of The Real Lolita
The appeal of true-crime stories has never been higher. With podcasts like My Favorite Murder and In the Dark, bestsellers like I’ll Be Gone in the Dark and Furious Hours, and TV hits like American Crime Story and Wild Wild Country, the cultural appetite for stories of real people doing terrible things is insatiable.
Acclaimed author ofThe Real Lolita and editor of Women Crime Writers: Eight Suspense Novels of the 1940s & 50s (Library of America) and Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives (Penguin), Sarah Weinman brings together an exemplary collection of recent true crime tales. She culls together some of the most refreshing and exciting contemporary journalists and chroniclers of crime working today. Michelle Dean’s “Dee Dee Wanted Her Daughter To Be Sick” went viral when it first published and is the basis for the TV showThe Act and Pamela Colloff’s “The Reckoning,” is the gold standard for forensic journalism. There are 13 pieces in all and as a collection, they showcase writing about true crime across the broadest possible spectrum, while also reflecting what makes crime stories so transfixing and irresistible to the modern reader.
Sarah Weinman is the author of Scoundrel and The Real Lolita and the editor, most recently, of Unspeakable Acts: True Tales of Crime, Murder, Deceit & Obsession. She was a 2020 National Magazine Award finalist for reporting and a Calderwood Journalism Fellow at MacDowell, and her work has appeared in New York magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, and the Washington Post. Weinman writes the crime column for the New York Times Book Review and lives in New York City and Northampton, MA.
“Irresistible.” — People, “Best New Books of the Week”
“This spine-tingling true crime anthology....[looks] beyond killers and victims and at systemic and institutionalized depravity.” — Shelf Awareness, starred review
“Superb . . . one of the best true crime books of the year.” — NPR.org
“An excellent anthology . . . Weinman has done more than create entertainment . . . she challenges the reader to use true crime as a lens to explore the world around us.” — BookPage
“Moves the needle closer to a version of the genre where crime is systemic abuse, baked into the work of institutions designed to protect us.” — Jezebel
“Thoughtful and wide-ranging. . . . The superior quality of these essays begs for future volumes.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“With nuance and sensitivity, Weinman curates essays that consider the explosion of interest in true crime, stories from the perspectives of victims, and tales that present new information about notorious killers. . . . This enthralling volume insists that there can and should be humanity within true crime.” — Library Journal (starred review)
"Essential reading for all true crime fans." — Booklist