Evidence of Things Seen: True Crime in an Era of Reckoning (Paperback)
From Sarah Weinman, the award-winning editor of Unspeakable Acts, a groundbreaking new anthology showcasing the future of the true crime genre
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.
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.
“This is a book about finding justice in a system that can frequently be unjust. These are stories about inequality, victims who must fight to be heard, and the tendency of the legal system to marginalize, or ignore, entire groups of people. . . . A valuable addition to the ever-growing genre of crime nonfiction.” — Booklist
"You know the feeling that you’ve heard the news even if you haven’t? “Evidence of Things Seen: True Crime in an Era of Reckoning” (July 4) is an addicting anthology of reporting that reframes crime writing itself, from pieces on the real-life models for David Simon’s fictional police, decades-old murders facing charges of indifference to Amanda Knox on “Amanda Knox” the image. (Editor Sarah Weinman has become a seal of excellence for true crime.) " — Chicago Tribune
“Evidence of Things Seen is a healthy antidote to ‘Dateline’-style sensationalist programming. The essays avoid traditional black-and-white stories and instead embrace the nuance of reporting on crime, showing the ways stories of wrongdoing often illuminate broader issues in our society. . . . The questions this book raises are critical and timely, and I look forward to seeing what these writers ask next.”
— Washington Post
"Evidence of Things Seen is an excellent and important collection that shines a light on the complicated obsession [of true crime]. — Shondaland
“A powerful anthology that illustrates how true-crime stories can, in fact, expose injustice and bring about social change.” — AirMail