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English Literature   >   Capote: In Cold Blood

The Non-Fiction Novel

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Capote: In Cold Blood

In this course, Dr Christopher Pittard (University of Portsmouth) explores Truman Capote's 1966 true crime classic, In Cold Blood. We begin by thinking about the genre of the novel, a genre which Capote referred to as 'the non-fiction novel'. After that, we provide a close reading of the opening pages of the novel, focusing in particular on the way in which Capote embeds certain themes and images that will recur throughout the text. After that, we think about the presentation of masculinity in the novel, looking in particular at the (potentially homoerotic?) relationship between Dick and Perry. In the fourth module, we think about title of the novel itself – is it only Dick and Perry who have acted 'in cold blood' or can this description also be applied to the execution of the two murderers? Finally, in the fifth module, we explore some of the ethical issues associated with Capote's writing of the novel itself, focusing in particular on the final scene of the novel, which describes an event which never actually happened.

The Non-Fiction Novel

In this module, we think about the genre that In Cold Blood belongs to, a genre which Capote paradoxically referred to as 'the non-fiction novel'.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Pittard, C. (2018, August 15). Capote: In Cold Blood - The Non-Fiction Novel [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Pittard, C. "Capote: In Cold Blood – The Non-Fiction Novel." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,


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Dr Christopher Pittard

Portsmouth University