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Thumbsucker Author at Loft March 26


The Music Hall’sWriters in the Loftseries welcomes novelist and essayist Walter Kirn, author ofThumbsuckerandUp in the Air, on Wednesday, March 26. Kirn will discuss his forthcoming memoirBlood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery and a Masquerade. (Click headline for full articles) 

Kim's book is already named a USA TodayTop 10 Best Book of Winter 2014 – in which he writes about his unsuspecting ten-year friendship with the imposter and murderer who called himself Clark Rockefeller.

The 7 p.m.event includes an author presentation and moderated Q+A, plus book signing and meet-and-greet. It will be held at the Music Hall Loft at 131 Congress Street, in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Walter Kirn
An In Cold Blood for our time, Blood Will Out is the chilling, compulsive story of a writer unwittingly caught in the wake of a grifter-turned-murderer.  First serialized in The New Yorker, Walter Kirn’s one-of-a-kind story takes us on a bizarre and haunting journey from the posh private clubrooms of Manhattan to the hard-boiled courtrooms and prisons of Los Angeles.

Combining confessional memoir, true crime reporting, and cultural speculation,Blood Will Outis a Dreiser-esque tale of self-invention, upward mobility, and intellectual arrogance. It exposes the layers of longing and corruption, ambition and self-delusion beneath the Great American con.

“Kirn’s book is fascinating on so many levels. It’s irresistible, of course, to fans of psychological thrillers and true crime – but readers interested in memoir, psychology, and cultural critique will find it equally intriguing. Don’t miss hearing from the author himself as he discusses this chilling memoir and the experiences that led him to write it,” said Executive Producer Patricia Lynch, also Executive Director of The Music Hall.


In the summer of 1998, Walter Kirn—then an aspiring novelist struggling with impending fatherhood and a dissolving marriage—set out on a peculiar, fateful errand: to personally deliver a crippled hunting dog from his home in Montana to the New York apartment of one Clark Rockefeller, a secretive young banker and art collector who had adopted the dog over the Internet. Thus began a fifteen-year relationship that drew Kirn deep into the fun-house world of an outlandish, eccentric son of privilege who ultimately would be unmasked as a brazen serial impostor, child kidnapper, and brutal murderer.

Kirn's one-of-a-kind story of being duped by a real-life Mr. Ripley takes us on a bizarre and haunting journey from the posh private clubrooms of Manhattan to the hard-boiled courtrooms and prisons of Los Angeles. As Kirn uncovers the truth about his friend, a psychopath masquerading as a gentleman, he also confronts hard truths about himself. Why, as a writer of fiction, was he susceptible to the deception of a sinister fantasist whose crimes, Kirn learns, were based on books and movies? What are the hidden psychological links between the artist and the con man? To answer these and other questions, Kirn attends his old friend’s murder trial and uses it as an occasion to reflect on both their tangled personal relationship and the surprising literary sources of Rockefeller's evil. This investigation of the past climaxes in a tense jailhouse reunion with a man whom Kirn realizes he barely knew—a predatory, sophisticated genius whose life, in some respects, parallels his own and who may have intended to take another victim during his years as a fugitive from justice: Kirn himself.


WALTER KIRN is the author ofThumbsuckerandUp in the Air, both made into major films. His work has appeared inGQ,New York,Esquire, and the New York Times Magazine.


The ticket package forWriters in the Loft: Walter Kirnon Wednesday, March 26, at 7pmis$40. In addition to a reserved seat, the package includes a hardcover copy of BLOOD WILL OUT ($25.95), a bar beverage, and book signing meet-and-greet. Packages can be purchasedthrough The Music Hall Box Office, located at 28 Chestnut Street, Portsmouth, over the phone at603-436-2400or online at  

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