Tuesday, April 19, 2016

2016 book 71

Maggie Nelson's The Red Parts: Autobiography of a Trial
I've never read any of Nelson's other books (though The Argonauts was a majorly critically acclaimed work last year), but Graywolf recently reissued this 2005 memoir and it sounded so compelling that I went for it! It centers on what happens when Nelson is about to publish a work of poetry about the long-ago murder of her aunt, presumably by a serial killer--and then finds out that the cold case has been reactivated, and a new suspect is about to be arrested. It's not a true crime book, but instead centers on Nelson and her family, their inter-relationships, and their grief, loss, and confusion as they face the murder trial. Nelson imbues her story with some really resonant themes, making this a quick, but moving, read. Very well-done. A.

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