My Books

Damnation Island by Stacy Horn
Buy Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, & Criminal in 19th-Century New York (Algonquin Books, 2018) from your favorite bookseller or from: Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, iBooks, Kobo, or Amazon.

“In her fine new book . . . Stacy Horn lucidly, and not without indignation, documents the island’s bleak history, detailing the political and moral failures that sustained this hell, failures still evident today in the prison at Rikers Island.” The New York Times Book Review

“Damnation Island should be your page-turning horror read for the summer. Horn’s book is uniquely arranged almost like a guide book, venturing from one institution to the next, discovering intimate stories of mayhem and malfeasance more unbelievable than the last.” The Bowery Boys podcast

“[A] fascinating look at a piece of nearly forgotten New York City history— one that will make you thankful for modern conveniences.” Mental Floss, Best Books of 2018

“Horn creates a vivid and at times horrifying portrait of Blackwell’s Island (today’s Roosevelt Island) in New York City’s East River during the late 19th century . . . with relevance for persistent debates over the treatment of the mentally ill and incarcerated.” Publishers Weekly

“This is an essential—and heartbreaking—book for readers seeking to better understand contemporary public policy.” Booklist, starred review


Buy Imperfect Harmony: Finding Happiness Singing With Others (Algonquin Books, 2013) from your favorite bookseller or from: Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, iBooks, Kobo, or Amazon.

“In this one-of-a-kind celebration of singing with others, I’d call her pitch nearly perfect.” The Atlantic Monthly

“If ever a book could make you want to break out in song, this is it!” American Profile

“[A] beautifully researched and eloquent book.” The Huffington Post

“Horn eloquently traces the evolution of ensemble singing . . . She writes movingly about how singing about death and simply breathing together bring a transcendent feeling of harmonious belonging.”  Publishers Weekly

I had an opportunity to give a TEDx Talk about singing in a choir. I did my best to distill the ideas in my book, and to give a brief introduction to the science of singing.

The PBS show Religion and Ethics did a wonderful piece about choral singing which features my choir.

I also wrote a piece for Slate about why you should join a choir and this too gives a good idea of what the book is about. Fast Company ran an excerpt which they titled, What Singing in a Choir Teaches Us About Teamwork. And, I was interviewed on NPR’s Talk of the Nation.

To hear the music I wrote about, go to this page of links to YouTube videos, or to my Spotify playlist.

unbelievable
Unbelievable: Investigations into Ghosts, Poltergeists, Telepathy, and Other Unseen Phenomena from the Duke Parapsychology Laboratory (Ecco, 2009).

“… whether or not you believe in such phenomena is irrelevant to your ability to enjoy Horn’s book. It’s an exciting, immaculately researched, complicated answer to a question that has no simple answer: ‘Do you believe?’ Readers with an interest in matters Fortean will enjoy the almost novelistic style and Horn’s extensive research.” The Agony Column, Bookotron.com.

“You might not believe all you read in Unbelievable: Investigations Into Ghosts, Poltergeists, Telepathy and Other Unseen Phenomena From the Duke Parapsychology Laboratory, but you’ll be engrossed by the largely forgotten research of the lab, formerly affiliated with Duke University.” Star Tribune

I made two videos about great ghost stories I’d researched in the process of writing this book:

Eliza Jumel and the Morris-Jumel Mansion.
Elizabeth Bullock and Bank Street.

restless
The Restless Sleep: Inside New York City’s Cold Case Squad (Penquin, 2006).

“NPR contributor Horn’s deft writing and unique access to detectives laboring to bring justice to the many forgotten victims of murder create a significant addition to the genre. Several notches above the typical reporter’s insights into the realities of criminal justice …” Publishers Weekly, starred review.

“Horn captures with crackling intensity the work of cops who investigate long-unsolved homicides … A choice piece of police-procedural writing.” Kirkus, starred review

“Horn proves herself a top-notch journalist, delivering stories from inside the New York Police Department’s Cold Case Squad — the nation’s largest office devoted to solving forgotten murder cases.” New York Magazine

“There is rarely a dull page as Horn portrays her colorful band as they challenge the perplexing past.” Baltimore Sun

” … while The Restless Sleep hardly makes for soothing bedtime reading, Horn’s gripping writing and palpable sense of outrage ensure that its narrative trail never runs cold.” Entertainment Weekly

“All of these cases haunted Horn, and because of her masterful storytelling, they are quite likely to haunt her readers, too.” San Francisco Chronicle

A Leonard Lopate interview with the former commanding officer of the NYPD’s Cold Case Squad.
A commentary I did for NPR about cold cases.

waiting
Waiting for My Cats to Die: a morbid memoir (St. Martin’s Press, 2001).

“Horn’s hilarious griping not only eases the pain, it heals the wound.” Newsday

“Horn’s thoroughly honest appraisal of herself and her life will so endear her to readers that many will wish they could hang out in the tiny Greenwich Village apartment with her, the cats, and the resident ghost. Indeed, to read these moving, surprisingly funny essays is to see the world through Horn’s intelligent, caring, if death-obsessed, eyes and remarkably, to enjoy the view.” Booklist

“That endearing, humanly squeamish book plumbed not only Ms. Horn’s inner demons but those of friends senior citizens, pets. It was 307 pages, but it flew like the wind.” New York Observer

I made a short video to promote the ebook edition and you can view it here. I also made a downloadable version of my In Case I Croak Pet Care Instruction Form.

In Case I Croak Pet Care Instruction Form Front
In Case I Croak Pet Care Instruction Form Back

cyberville
Cyberville: Clicks, Culture and the Creation of an Online Town (Warner Books, 1998).

“Cyberville is rambling, foulmouthed, and gossipy. It’s also hilariously funny and perhaps the most refreshingly insightful, candid portrait of life in cyberspace I’ve read. “ WIRED Magazine

“Cyberville resonates because, beyond helping us get inside the technology that separates us as much as it brings us together, the words of the author and of the Echoids are about the souls of people, about how they live together over time.” New York Times

“Most books about cyberspace are written by academics or journalists who never truly experienced cyberspace life. Stacy Horn, however, is the real thing. Horn is never didactic nor utopian. The book is personal and funny in the same way online conversation is.” Washington Post, Book Critic Choices 1998

“Horn’s candor and sense of humor are vastly appealing, particularly when compared to the pomposity of much other writing about the net … this should be required reading for anyone wishing to understand more about the human side, and human potential, of cyberspace.” Publisher’s Weekly