Liliana's Invincible Summer: A Sister's Search for Justice (Paperback)

Liliana's Invincible Summer: A Sister's Search for Justice By Cristina Rivera Garza Cover Image
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NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK • “A searing account of grief and the quest to bring her sister’s murderer to justice years after the fact” (The Boston Globe), from “one of Mexico’s greatest living writers” (Jonathan Lethem).
 
“Part memoir, part true-crime story, Garza’s chronicle is both personal and political.”—The Washington Post

A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: The New York Times Book Review, NPR, The Washington Post, Time, Chicago Public Library, She Reads, Electric Lit

October 18, 2019. Cristina Rivera Garza travels from her home in Texas to Mexico City, in search of an old, unresolved criminal file. “My name is Cristina Rivera Garza,” she writes in her request to the attorney general, “and I am writing to you as a relative of Liliana Rivera Garza, who was murdered on July 16, 1990.” It’s been twenty-nine years. Twenty-nine years, three months, and two days since Liliana was murdered by an abusive ex-boyfriend. Inspired by feminist movements across the world and enraged by the global epidemic of femicide and intimate partner violence, Cristina embarks on a path toward justice. Liliana’s Invincible Summer is the account—and the outcome—of that quest .

In luminous, poetic prose, Rivera Garza tells a singular yet universally resonant story: Liliana is a spirited, wondrously hopeful young woman who tried to survive in a world of increasingly normalized gendered violence. Rivera Garza traces her sister’s history, depicting everything from Liliana’s early romance with a handsome but possessive and short-tempered man to that exhilarating final summer of 1990 when she loved, thought, and traveled more widely and freely than she ever had before.

Using her skills as an acclaimed scholar, novelist, and poet, Rivera Garza collected and curated evidence—handwritten letters, police reports, school notebooks, interviews with Liliana’s loved ones—to document her sister’s life. Through this remarkable and genre-defying memoir, she confronts the trauma of losing her sister and examines how this tragedy continues to shape who she is—and what she fights for—today.

About the Author


Cristina Rivera Garza is the award-winning author of The Taiga Syndrome and The Iliac Crest, among many other books. A recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship and the Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Prize, Rivera Garza is the M. D. Anderson Distinguished Professor in Hispanic Studies, and director of the PhD program in creative writing in Spanish at the University of Houston.

Praise For…


“Cristina Rivera Garza wanted to shed light on the life of her sister, killed 30 years ago. Her book, part of a larger call for justice by women in Mexico, helped locate the suspect. . . . [Liliana's Invincible Summer] is the record of a woman who, against the odds, refuses to be forgotten.”The New York Times

“Not everything can be put into words, especially grief and rage, no matter how precise and skilled the writing is. The beauty of this book is that it reaches for that truth regardless, and in doing so, Liliana becomes indelible. She is so fully realized that by the end, the reader is also mourning. I will be thinking of Liliana for a very long time, perhaps forever.”The Washington Post

“Women across the world are killed at shocking rates by men, usually partners or former ones. . . . Anger at this lack of accountability seethes through Ms. Rivera Garza’s book. Her main goal, however, is not abstract analysis of femicide but to chronicle a life lost to it. . . . Absorbing and poetic.”—The Economist

“A searing account of grief and the quest to bring her sister’s murderer to justice years after the fact . . . Reminiscent of Natasha Trethewey’s “Memorial Drive,” Rivera Garza’s memoir is both master stroke and a critical inflection point in her country’s brutal, patriarchal politics.”The Boston Globe

“The Mexican virtuoso’s searing, propulsive memoir probes the murder of her younger sister . .  . Rivera Garza recreates Liliana’s death at the hands of a violent ex-boyfriend, opening a Pandora’s box of bureaucratic demons and igniting a cold case that rallied a nation to the cause of domestic abuse.”Oprah Daily
 
Liliana’s Invincible Summer is a blueprint of one woman’s murder, but it is also the story of hundreds of thousands of women throughout the globe. I was shaken and alerted by Cristina Rivera Garza’s investigation into her own grief. It has inspired me to speak up as she has bravely done.”—Sandra Cisneros

“Cristina Rivera Garza has written something almost miraculous: not a cold case file or true crime story, but an attempt to recover Liliana’s life, her spark, her youth, taken away with such cruelty. This book is a revelation.”—Mariana Enriquez, author of Our Share of Night

“Reading this astounding, lyrical, and brilliant book will open your heart and break it, leaving you more vulnerable to both love and rage.”—Julie Carr, author of Real Life

“The heart-filled writing of this genre-bending book is a political act, a manifesto against patriarchy and the ‘straightjacket of machismo.’”—Javier Zamora, author of Solito

“This is sisterhood as mystery, yearning, and ghosted affection.”—Quiara Alegría Hudes, author of My Broken Language

“This piercing remembrance hits home.”Publishers Weekly

“A moving, heart-wrenching memoir as well as an unflinching appraisal of the widespread violence against women in Mexico.”Kirkus Reviews
Product Details
ISBN: 9780593244111
ISBN-10: 0593244117
Publisher: Hogarth
Publication Date: March 12th, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English