Jane: A Murder by Maggie Nelson

Jane: A Murder by Maggie Nelson

Jane tells the spectral story of the life and death of Maggie Nelson’s aunt Jane, who was murdered in 1969 while a first-year law student at the University of Michigan. Though officially unsolved, Jane’s murder was apparently the third in a series of seven brutal rape-murders in the area. Nelson was born a few years after Jane’s death, and the narrative is suffused with the long shadow her murder cast over both the family and her psyche.
My Review:

I think when I ordered this one on impulse from Amazon and by the time it had arrived, forgotten that it was mostly poetry. Amazing prose, written by Nelson, about her aunt’s unsolved murder. You can read it in a few hours; it’s beautiful. I think, especially, in this age of ten thousand true crime podcasts, movies about movies about JonBenet Ramsey, and serial killer subscription boxes, the reality of it all—the taking of one person’s life by another—gets a little foggy.

This little book right here gets it, though. It’s cerebral without being salacious. Uninterested in gritty details of the murder, frequently highlighting the strange way the media tends to frame victims, their lives, and their deaths, Jane is something else. It’s refreshing! And sad. And lovely.

My Rating:


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