Saturday, October 28 • 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Memoir and True Crime: The Prison of the Self

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In this session, three memoirists investigate the destructive impulses that reside in the human psyche and the tremendous toll they exact. Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich’s The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir, was hailed by Vogue Magazine as a “true-crime masterpiece” for its “moments of profound revelation” in exploring twin events in the author’s life: working as a law student on the death penalty case of a pedophile and her own molestation at the hands of her grandfather. The stories become entwined, and the results are riveting. Danielle Allen, Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard, recounts the painful history of her beloved cousin, Michael, whose fateful entanglement with gangs, drugs, and the federal prison system eventually led to his murder. Allen’s book, Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A, is a cri de coeur over her cousin’s tragic life and her inability to help him. In After the Eclipse: A Mother’s Murder, a Daughter’s Search, Sarah Perry describes how, as a twelve-year-old, her own life was shattered by her mother’s murder and how she struggled to understand her mother’s life and death. In its starred review, Publishers Weekly calls Perry’s memoir a “fascinating small-town mystery with breathtaking revelations at the end.” This not-to-be missed discussion will be moderated by author and critic Ethan Gilsdorf, whose essay entitled “The Day My Mother Became a Stranger to Me” was included in The Best American Essays for 2016. 

avatar for Ethan Gilsdorf

Ethan Gilsdorf

The most succinct way to describe Ethan Gilsdorf is as a nerd who writes a lot. He is a journalist, critic, essayist, memoirist, poet, and teacher. A lifelong lover of Dungeons & Dragons, Gilsdorf began his writing career as a travel writer out of Paris. He returned to the United... Read More →

avatar for Danielle Allen

Danielle Allen

Danielle Allen is Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University. She is a political theorist who has published broadly in democratic theory, political sociology, and the history of political thought. Widely known... Read More →
avatar for Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

As a law intern in Louisiana, Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich worked on the case of murderer and pedophile Ricky Langley, convicted of killing a six-year-old boy. The process of researching the case shook Marzano-Lesnevich’s judicial beliefs and forced her to confront events from her... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Perry

Sarah Perry

When Sarah Perry was twelve, her mother was murdered in their Maine home by an unknown assassin. Her mother’s death was a defining event in Perry’s life; she grew to adulthood without her mother, waited twelve years for the murderer to be caught, and spent years after delving... Read More →

Saturday October 28, 2017 12:30pm - 1:30pm EDT
Emmanuel Sanctuary