RaveThe New York Times Book Review[A] lucid, poignant collection of essays and poetry ... The horror of countless public displays of mutilated, tortured bodies has rendered a terrified population into silence, their trauma too painful to articulate. But in this slim book, Rivera Garza tries to do just that, functioning as both a physician diagnosing the source of her country’s pain, and an archaeologist unearthing its layers and then artfully transforming the grief into words ... Rivera Garza’s focus never waivers ... Such weighty subject matter might sound like a heavy lift. But Rivera Garza’s essays leave the opposite impression. They are deeply hopeful, ultimately love letters to writing itself.
Emma Copley Eisenberg
RaveThe New York Times Book Review... an evocative and elegantly paced examination of the murders that takes a prism-like view of the crime ... [Eisenberg\'s] unraveling of the brutal double murder is as skilled as her exploration of Pocahontas County, where the men, as much as the women, appear trapped in their predestined societal roles, and where toxic masculinity gnaws at the men, rudderless and lost, who drink to fill the idle hours. But she also digs deeper, beyond the old clichés of insular, backward mountain folk, to find a thriving transgender community and an independent, open-minded streak among the county’s inhabitants ... Eisenberg could have stopped there and had a compelling story, but as in all the best true-crime books, The Third Rainbow Girl is about more than just a quest to solve the mystery. It’s also an elegy for a time when Eisenberg came close to her own self-prescribed destruction among the same towering loblolly pines and bending rivers of Pocahontas County. A sudden confession about her own precarious frame of mind zings like a shocking jolt from the pages ... not just a masterly examination of a brutal unsolved crime, which leads us through many surprising twists and turns and a final revelation about who the real killer might be. It’s also an unflinching interrogation of what it means to be female in a society marred by misogyny, where women hitchhiking alone are harshly judged, even blamed for their own murders.
RaveThe Wall Street Journal\"Francisco Cantú’s new memoir, The Line Becomes a River, veers away from propaganda and stereotypes and into the wild deserts and mountains, and, especially, the hearts and minds of the people who traverse the increasingly militarized borderlands. No one crosses unscathed, including Mr. Cantú … It’s rare to be given insight into the lives of the men and women who patrol our international borders, especially by a writer as gifted as Mr. Cantú … He becomes afflicted with nightmares of death, of missing bodies in the desert, and of his teeth crumbling into pieces. These passages, which are interspersed with dispatches from his daily patrol, are both beautifully written and terrifying. It’s fascinating to read how Mr. Cantú navigates such difficult physical and mental terrain.\