F402 Winter 2020 The Non-Fiction Novel: Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood
Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 28–Feb. 18
Instructor: Marilyn Harriman
Class limit: 50
The New York Times Review of Books hailed In Cold Blood as “the best documentary account of an American crime ever written.” In this course we will read and analyze Capote’s portrayal of a multiple murder and its consequences. Capote’s in-depth investigative research, his depictions of the victims and murderers, his setting and landscape details, and his flamboyant personality worked together to achieve, yet sometimes stifle, his purposes. Themes of nurture vs. nature, sexuality, family relationships, and empathy will be discussed. In our final session, we will consider whether Capote is arguing about capital punishment, and if so, whether his argument is for or against it. Photos and clips related to the crime, author, and book’s development will be included.
Marilyn Harriman is a retired Fairfax County advanced placement language and composition instructor. She also taught 10th and 11th grade honors English. Earlier, she taught high school and community college English literature and journalism in Oregon, Texas, and Germany. She earned an MEd, as well as BA degrees in journalism and English literature, from the University of Virginia.