On the Books: 'In Cold Blood' case files to be published
– Since its 1966 debut, Truman Capote’s chilling true-crime classic In Cold Blood has been regarded as the original “nonfiction novel”—a revelation in literature that combined the factuality of journalism with the literary finesse of fiction. But a recent claim made by the son of the man who investigated the real-life murder case indicates that Capote may have taken more artistic license in writing the account than previously thought.
A Kansas District Court ruled that Ronald Nye—the son of the detective who investigated the quadruple murder upon which Capote based In Cold Blood—has permission to publish his father’s case-files and field notes in an upcoming book. Originally, the state attorney general’s office blocked Nye from publishing the documents—which Nye says contain “vast discrepancies” from Capote’s book. The judge who ruled against Nye in 2012 reversed his decision on the basis that Nye’s First Amendment rights and the public’s right to the knowledge outweighed the maintaining the confidentiality of the case.
“Our belief is that there is no other reason [Kansas] would want the materials we have suppressed were it not for the information we found in them,” said Gary McAvoy, who is co-writing the book with Nye. “That information connects to other research I’ve done and supports a pretty compelling new theory—one that I am reluctant to even discuss at this point.” Nye and McAvoy hope to publish the book in 2016, coinciding with the 50-year anniversary of In Cold Blood‘s release.
Nye said his father hated both the book and 1967 film adaptation. “Nye recalled that his father was so disappointed in Capote’s book that he read only about 115 pages before throwing it across the room,” the Associated Press reports. “He said his dad walked out of the movie’s premiere after just 15 minutes.” The story was retold again in 2005’s Capote, for which Philip Seymour Hoffman won the Oscar for best actor. [Associated Press]
– British internet personality Zoe Sugg’s debut novel Girl Online, released Nov. 25, is not only the fastest-selling hardcover book of 2014, but the highest-selling book by a debut author ever—beating out literary sensations like J.K. Rowling and Dan Brown. Nielsen BookScan reported that 78,109 copies of the Penguin Random House title were sold last week, the best debut since Nielsen started keeping those records in 1998. Sugg, 24, goes by Zoella online, where she is a popular fashion/beauty YouTube vlogger. Girl centers on the experiences of a 15-year-old girl whose blog goes viral. She is is expected to publish a sequel in summer 2015. [The Telegraph]
– Writer Kent Haruf died on Sunday at the age of 71 at his home in Colorado. Haruf penned a number of critically acclaimed novels set in the fictional small town of Holt, including 1999’s bestselling Plainsong, which gained the author notoriety overnight. Haruf had the unusual writing habit of blindfolding himself when he sat down at his typewriter in order to completely immerse himself in his work. [The New York Times]
– A federal judge gave final approval to the settlement deal for Apple’s ebook price-fixing case. If Apple is still found liable after the appeals process, the company will have to shell out $400 million to consumers. [Publishers Weekly]