Our Bookseller Says:
“True Crime is so binge-able, but have you ever considered how exhausting the experience must be for the family of the victims?
On the surface, this is the story of her murdered aunt’s trial. But greater than that, this is an examination of the entire True Crime genre as reoccurring patterns, and how people in the United States are so obsessed (and afraid of) of sex and gender, they use violence as a side door to talk about it. Makes you thinks about who and what we romanticize. I know I didn’t consider this for the longest time.
If you’re on a True Crime bender, check out Mean by Myriam Gurba or Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff, Georgia Hardstark; or, if you want to re-examine the patterns Nelson critiques, check out more traditional thrillers like Tim Johnston’s Descent. For best effect, read The Red Parts in a traveling frenzy, like I did. I mean, why not ride book’s energy?”
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Late in 2004, Maggie Nelson was looking forward to the publication of her book Jane: A Murder, a narrative in verse about the life and death of her aunt, who had been murdered thirty-five years before. The case remained unsolved, but Jane was assumed to have been the victim of an infamous serial killer in Michigan in 1969.
Then, one November afternoon, Nelson received a call from her mother, who announced that the case had been reopened; a new suspect would be arrested and tried on the basis of a DNA match. Over the months that followed, Nelson found herself attending the trial with her mother, and reflecting anew on the aura of dread and fear that hung over her family and childhood—an aura that derived not only from the terrible facts of her aunt’s murder, but also from her own complicated journey through sisterhood, daughterhood, and girlhood.
The Red Parts is a memoir, an account of a trial, and a provocative essay that interrogates the American obsession with sexualized violence, and scrupulously explores the nature of grief, justice, and empathy.