The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir

The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir

by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

Hardcover(Large Print)

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"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

Guardian Best Book of the Year

Lambda Literary Award Winner

Chautauqua Prize Winner

"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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781432843557
Publisher: Thorndike Press Large Print
Publication date: 10/18/2017
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 533
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

A 2014 National Endowment for the Arts fellow, Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich has received a Rona Jaffe Award and has twice been a fellow at both MacDowell and Yaddo. Her essays appear in the New York Times, Oxford American, and the anthologies TRUE CRIME and WAVEFORM: Twenty-first Century Essays by Women, as well as many other publications. She received her JD from Harvard, her MFA at Emerson College, and her BA from Columbia University. She now lives in Boston, where she teaches at Grub Street and in the graduate public policy program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

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The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fascinating story; love the writing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very interesting book, I highly recommend.
Cynthia181 More than 1 year ago
I won this copy from Goodreads. I was not required to give a favorable review. All thoughts are my own. This is a very hard to book to first get into. But it written very well. Getting to know the back story of the characters is the book are interesting. But I got a little lost at times. That is why I think this book took me awhile to finish it. I was to understand how each character connects. When you get the back story of the why the little boy was killed is something you don't always get to understand everyone that works on the trail. This was a very interesting read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Trisha-R More than 1 year ago
The Fact of a Body: A Murder and A Memoir Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich *Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC from Flatiron Publishing. The following review is my own with no input from the Author or publisher*. Let me start by saying that the story-line itself, at times, can be difficult to read due to the subject matter. It is an engrossing book most especially the first two parts. The third part to me was more difficult to read, not so much due to subject matter, but because it was hard for me to stay involved. I can’t imagine how difficult it was for the author to put into writing what her life involved and how traumatizing it was to re-open those wounds that never truly healed. I just can’t imagine personally all the things that can happen to a person that This is a great character study in that you see how trauma can impact each person differently. From the author herself, to Ricky Langley, to Bessie Langley, to Lorilei Guillory, to the law enforcement personal, to the judges that preside over these cases you see how one defining moment can change your whole world. Over-all this book was good, and I do believe Ms. Marzano-Lesnevich has much to give this world with her writing.
crystallyn More than 1 year ago
Over the last year I have been watching the critical acclaim for this debut stack up, and with good reason. Marzano masterfully weaves together personal history and the history of a child's tragic murder into a suspenseful and moving true crime drama. She structures the book with extraordinary skill, haunting prose and the precision of an expert lawyer. I ached for the people in this book, for the sometimes awful complexities of life and the terrible things we humans do to each other. A truly unforgettable book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Part memoir, part true crime, completely great. ~*~LEB~*~
Anonymous More than 1 year ago