Master of the “True Crime” genre
NYS Writers Institute, November 15, 2007
8:00 p.m. Reading | Bernard D. Arbit Lecture Center 25, Academic Podium,
UAlbany Uptown Campus
Joe McGinniss, author of the popular “true crime” classics, “Fatal
Vision” (1983) and “Blind Faith” (1988), will discuss
his new book, “Never Enough” (2007), an investigation of
the recent Kissel banking family murders in Hong Kong and Greenwich,
CT, on Thursday, November 15, 2007 at 8:00 p.m. in the Bernard D. Arbit
Lecture Center 25, Academic Podium, on the University at Albany’s
uptown campus. Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m. the author will present
an informal seminar in Campus Center 375 on the uptown campus. The events
are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute, and are free and
open to the public.
Joe McGinniss is best-known for his popular
classics of the “true crime” genre, including “Fatal
Vision” (1983), “Blind Faith” (1988), and “Cruel
Doubt” (1991). His newest “true crime” book, “Never
Enough”(2007), offers a tale of greed and murder featuring the
wealthy Kissel family of Hong Kong and Greenwich, CT. In 2003, investment
banker Robert Kissel’s wife is convicted of bludgeoning him to
death after lacing his milkshake with sedatives in a Hong Kong luxury
apartment. Robert’s brother Andrew, a Connecticut real estate tycoon,
receives custody of the couple’s three children. Three years later,
Andrew is found tied up and stabbed to death in his Greenwich mansion.
The book endeavors to present a compelling solution to the latter murder,
which remains officially unsolved.
In writing “Never Enough,” his first “true crime” book
in 16 years,McGinniss enjoyed privileged access to numerous Kissel relatives
and acquaintances. “Washington Post Book World” editor Marie
Arana ranked it among the most anticipated books of the fall 2007 season.
“Fatal Vision,” the author’s first true crime book, presents
an intimate account of the trials and appeals of Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald, a man
eventually convicted of brutally slaying his pregnant wife and two young daughters.
In writing the book, McGinniss commenced a four-year friendship with MacDonald
early on in the course of his legal battles, not knowing whether he was innocent
or guilty, though ultimately being persuaded of the latter. In a 1983 “New
York Times” review, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt said that “‘Fatal
Vision’ smells of integrity, and that’s one of the many things
about it that make it irresistible to read, even if its vision of the human
soul is somewhat bleak and frightening.”
A former reporter and columnist for the “Philadelphia Inquirer,” McGinniss
also wrote the major nonfiction bestseller, “The Selling of the
President, 1968” (1969), a pioneering study of the role
of marketing in Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign. The book
was on the “New York Times” bestseller list for seven months,
and was ranked #1 for four months. The book earned McGinniss, at the
age of 27, the distinction of having written the second biggest-selling
nonfiction book by a n under-30 author (after Anne Frank).
books include “The Big Horse” (2004), which “Publishers
Weekly” called, “a compelling and bittersweet picture of the
dying sport of horse-racing”; “The Miracle of Castel di Sangro,” the
true story of the improbable rise of an Italian soccer team from impoverished
small-town obscurity to the national championships; and “The Last
Brother: The Rise and Fall of Teddy Kennedy” (1993), a controversial
work that tests the definition of “nonfiction” by interjecting
speculative thoughts into the minds of its principal characters.
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.