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The Red Parts: Autobiography of a Trial

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Months before Maggie Nelson’s first book about the 35-year-long unsolved murder of her aunt is about to be published, she learns that her aunt’s case is in fact open and that detectives are close to solving it. The Red Parts is Nelson’s frenzied attempt to record the subsequent trial of her aunt’s suspected murderer and the emotional impact the case’s reopening had on her family.

Written in the form of an extended essay, The Red Parts makes for quick and compulsive reading. Nelson honestly details how her aunt’s murder has shadowed so much of her family’s past and present, and also offers a deft critique of society’s fascination with sexualized crimes against women. Her critique of the gratuitous nature of true crime TV shows and of the media’s coverage of violent crime extends to the “maleness” of her aunt’s investigation and trial, and she wonders to what extent the investigating and trying of crimes against women by men are subject to male exploitation. Within Nelson’s analysis is a model for how victim’s families can reject the true crime genre’s need for anger and grief by bearing witness to how their loved ones are being portrayed in courts and in the media instead of focusing their grief on retribution.

Reviewed By:
Author:
Maggie Nelson
Star Count:
5/5
Format:
Trade
Page Count:
224 pages
Publisher:
Graywolf Press
Publish Date:
2016-04-05
ISBN:
9781555977368
Amazon:
Issue:
August 2016
Category:
Biographies & Memoirs
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Additional information

Publication Date

2016-04-05

Format

Trade

Publisher

Graywolf Press

Issue

August 2016

Page Count

224 pages

ASIN

1555977367

ISBN

9781555977368

Star Count

5

Book Author

Maggie Nelson

“The Red Parts: Autobiography of a Trial”

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