My Books

Damnation Island by Stacy Horn
Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York (Algonquin Books, 2018)

“Riveting. Horn brings alive this forgotten history, and her extraordinary book has far-reaching significance not only for the past but for the future.”
Jan Jarboe Russell, best-selling author of The Train to Crystal City

“At Blackwell’s, the inmates really were running the asylum. An important piece of history in public medicine, Damnation Island weaves a compelling narrative with threads of thorough research and realism.”
Julie Holland, M.D., author of Weekends at Bellevue

“A riveting, character-driven dive into 19th-century New York and the extraordinary history of Blackwell’s Island. Stacy Horn has an uncanny knack for making history come alive.”
Laurie Gwen Shapiro, author of The Stowaway: A Young Man’s Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica

“Blackwell’s Island’s descent into darkness is chronicled with clarity and conscience by master-story-teller Stacy Horn. No one who has taken that journey with her will return the same.”
Teresa Carpenter, Pulitzer Prize-winner and editor of New York Diaries: 1609 to 2009

“New York’s Victorian-era reformers had an idea: to isolate the city’s indigent, diseased, mentally ill, and delinquent on an island in the East River, where they could be cared for with competence and compassion. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way. Stacy Horn is the perfect Virgil for this chilling, vivid, and enthralling journey through the Inferno that was 19th-century Blackwell’s Island.”
Gary Krist, author of Empire of Sin


Imperfect Harmony: Finding Happiness Singing With Others (Algonquin Books, 2013)

“Stacy Horn’s book will seize your heart. It’s one part charming memoir, one part music history, one part query into surprising new findings in cognitive science that show why singing together … so fulfills the human soul. I don’t just love this book, I exult in it.” Pamela McCorduck, author of Machines Who Think, and Bounded Rationality.

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.

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. The Restless Sleep got starred reviews from both Kirkus and Publishers Weekly.

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).

“Stacy Horn, the founder of the online service Echo, had a much more compelling-if less icily highbrow-exploration of midlife crisis in Waiting for My Cats to Die: A Morbid Memoir (2001). 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 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.”
The New York Times.

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