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The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir
by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

Published: 2017-05-16
Hardcover : 336 pages
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Bustle's 20 Best Non-Fiction Books for May
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Real Simple's Best New Books to Read in May

“A True Crime Masterpiece” – Vogue

"This book is a marvel. The Fact of a Body is equal parts gripping and haunting and will leave you questioning ...

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Bustle's 20 Best Non-Fiction Books for May
Entertainment Weekly Books You Have to Read in May
Real Simple's Best New Books to Read in May

“A True Crime Masterpiece” – Vogue

"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


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.

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by ebach (see profile) 05/20/17

Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich went to Harvard Law School, although she didn’t practice law long before she began writing full time. The title THE FACT OF A BODY, though, is based on somethi... (read more)

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