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4.0 

Liliana's Invincible Summer (Pulitzer Prize winner)

By Cristina Rivera Garza
Liliana's Invincible Summer (Pulitzer Prize winner) by Cristina Rivera Garza digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

PULITZER PRIZE WINNER • 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.

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14 Reviews

4.0
Loudly Crying Face“Liliana’s Invincible Summer is a deeply emotional tale about a sister reopening the 30-year-old murder case of her sister, Liliana. The book powerfully connects readers to Liliana through her diary entries, evoking memories of youthful innocence and the universal desire for a life filled with love and joy. Liliana felt like a younger sister to me, someone I wanted to protect from her tragic fate. Although her diary entries often remain vague and mysterious, this only adds to the book’s intellectual allure. Despite this frustration, the narrative profoundly highlights crucial issues like femicide and partner terrorism. It underscores the importance of never blaming the victim and always supporting and protecting each other. Liliana’s Invincible Summer is more than a story of loss; it’s a call to action to cherish life and stand against violence. This book is a must-read, a poignant tribute to Liliana, and a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.”
Descriptive writingSuspensefulDark settingRealistic settingComing of ageDarkHeartbreakingMisogynySexual assault
Loudly Crying Face“⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️5/5. Liliana’s Invincible Summer is the story of the authors sister. In July of 1990, Liliana was tragically murdered by her ex-boyfriend. The book starts with the authors quest to locate her sister’s case file within the maze of Mexico’s criminal justice system. The story sheds an important light on domestic violence, and highlights the problems victims face. Liliana’s Invincible Summer was beautifully written & the perfect blend of a memoir mixed with true crime. As a Latina myself, I’m trying to read more books written by Hispanic authors & so glad I came across this one.”
Beautifully writtenDescriptive writingFast-pacedDarkAbuseViolence

About Cristina Rivera Garza

Cristina Rivera Garza is the award-winning author of The Taiga Syndrome and The Iliac Crest, among many other books. Her memoir Liliana’s Invincible Summer won the Pulitzer Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award. 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.

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