From one of Mexico’s greatest contemporary writers, an astonishing work of non-fiction that illuminates an epidemic of femicide in Mexico through the death of one woman.
‘Meticulously written and deeply moving . . . A triumph’ JACKIE KAY
‘Full of tenderness and beauty. This book is a revelation and a restoration of her sister’s memory’ MARIANA ENRIQUEZ, author of The Dangers of Smoking in Bed
On the dawn of 16 July 1990, Liliana Rivera Garza, Cristina Rivera Garza’s sister, was murdered by her ex-boyfriend and subsumed into Mexico’s dark and relentless history of femicide.
She was a twenty-year-old architecture student who had been trying for years to end her relationship with a high school boyfriend who insisted on not letting her go. A few weeks before the tragedy, Liliana made a definitive decision: at the height of her winter she had discovered that, as Albert Camus had said, there was an invincible summer in her. She would leave him behind. She would start a new life. She would do a master’s degree and a doctorate; she would travel to London. But his decision was that she would not have a life without him.
Returning to Mexico after decades of living in the United States, Cristina Rivera Garza collects and curates evidence – handwritten letters, police reports, school notebooks, voice recordings and architectural blueprints – to defy a pattern of increasingly normalised, gendered violence and understand the life lost. What she finds is Liliana: her sister’s voice crossing time and, like that of so many disappeared and outraged women in Mexico, demanding justice.