The Fact of A Body : A Murder and A Memoir

The Fact of A Body : A Murder and A Memoir

eBook - 2017
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Baker & Taylor
A National Endowment for the Arts fellow documents the story of how a summer job at a Louisiana law firm and the case of a convicted murderer and child molester changed her views about the death penalty and forced her to confront traumatic secrets in her own family.

McMillan Palgrave
A young law student, an unspeakable crime, and a past that refuses to stay buried.

"Complex and challenging... push[es] the boundaries of writing about trauma." —The New York Times
“A True Crime Masterpiece” – Vogue
Entertainment Weekly "Must" List and Best Books of the Year So Far
Real Simple's Best New Books

"The Fact of a Body is one of the best books I've read this year. It's just astounding."
— Paula Hawkins, author of Into the Water and The Girl on the Train

"This book is a marvel. The Fact of a Body is equal parts gripping and haunting and will leave you questioning whether any one story can hold the full truth." — Celeste Ng, author of the New York Times bestselling Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere


Before Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich begins a summer job at a law firm in Louisiana, working to help defend men accused of murder, she thinks her position is clear. The child of two lawyers, she is staunchly anti-death penalty. But the moment convicted murderer Ricky Langley’s face flashes on the screen as she reviews old tapes—the moment she hears him speak of his crimes -- she is overcome with the feeling of wanting him to die. Shocked by her reaction, she digs deeper and deeper into the case. Despite their vastly different circumstances, something in his story is unsettlingly, uncannily familiar.

Crime, even the darkest and most unsayable acts, can happen to any one of us. As Alexandria pores over the facts of the murder, she finds herself thrust into the complicated narrative of Ricky’s childhood. And by examining the details of Ricky’s case, she is forced to face her own story, to unearth long-buried family secrets, and reckon with a past that colors her view of Ricky's crime.

But another surprise awaits: She wasn’t the only one who saw her life in Ricky’s.

An intellectual and emotional thriller that is also a different kind of murder mystery, THE FACT OF A BODY is a book not only about how the story of one crime was constructed -- but about how we grapple with our own personal histories. Along the way it tackles questions about the nature of forgiveness, and if a single narrative can ever really contain something as definitive as the truth. This groundbreaking, heart-stopping work, ten years in the making, shows how the law is more personal than we would like to believe -- and the truth more complicated, and powerful, than we could ever imagine.



Publisher: Flatiron Books,, 2017
ISBN: 9781250080561
1250080568
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Baker & Taylor Axis 360
Alternative Title: Axis 360 eBooks

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stefanas
Aug 21, 2017

One of the best books I've read this year. The author deftly parallels her own family history with a murder case that she has become obsessed with. As a lawyer, from a family of lawyers, she writes with a clear-headedness that is absent from most memoirs. If you are interested in true crime or memoir (or both!), this is a must read.

m
MplsTA
Jul 02, 2017

From the first page, this book pulled me right in. I have always liked true crime and this book is part true crime and part memoir.

The story is disturbing from covering a murdering pedophile to the author's sexual assault from her grandfather. I can see how this book may upset some readers.

RidnLibn Jun 04, 2017

A young law student works on a case to remove a convicted killer from Death Row. She realizes there are awful parallels between her life and that of the killer. The crimes are horrific. But Marzano-Lesnevich's meticulous research and gorgeous writing make this memoir a riveting read. "The Fact of a Body" is absolutely one of the best books of 2017. Not to be missed...

LPL_MeredithW May 06, 2017

"The Fact of a Body" almost defies description: it's a disturbing, moving, thought-provoking read that starts with a crime and widens in scope to consider how memory and experience shape who we are and how we exist in the world. There are passages in this book that made my stomach turn and other passages that made my heart ache, often in reference to the same people. This book isn't afraid to ask questions for which it doesn't have answers; it consciously refuses simple identification or definitions. It's not an easy read, and it's not going to be for everyone, but it's a richly rewarding meditation on truth and responsibility that I'll be carrying with me for a long time to come.

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