Critique : The Fact of a Body, A. Marzano-Lesnevich – 1ère LLCE – Lycée Edgar Quinet, Bourg-en-Bresse

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Projet : Graines de critiques littéraires / AIR Lycées


Biographie

Born into a family of lawyers, Alex Marzano-Lesnevich studied law – focusing on issues related to the death penalty – before turning away from it for the reasons that would fuel their novel.

They were a brilliant university student, graduating successively from Columbia, Harvard Law School and Emerson College. 

 

Marzano-Lesnevich Alex © Greta Rybus

Keen on writing and journalism, they wrote for many prestigious newspapers such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Oxford American and many other publications. 

Alex Marzano-Lesnevich collaborated with other authors for an anthology entitled Waveform: Twenty-First-Century Essays by Women celebrating the role of essayist women in contemporary literature.

Today, they are a professor of literature at Bowdoin College. They also teach graduate public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. 

They live in Portland, Maine.

Alex Marzano-Lesnevich is the author of The Fact of a Body, praised by critics, notably by The Guardian, and acclaimed by Amazon as one of the best books of the year 2017, and as best book of the year by Entertainment Weekly, The Time of London, and many others.

Critique : Two crimes, one eye.

Alex Marzano-Lesnevich’s book, The Fact of a Body, published in May 2017 by Flatiron Books, is a remarkable mix of investigation and introspection. The author combines fiction and reality while immersing us into a morbid universe. 

The Fact of a Body : autopsy of a double crime, by the pupils of 1°LLCE of lycée Edgar Quinet

The Fact of a Body tells us about two echoing stories. The first story is about Ricky Langley, a paedophile who killed young Jeremy Guillory. The second is about Alex Marzano-Lesnevich’s dark past. 

Alex Marzano was a law student opposed to the death penalty before seeing the confession tapes of Ricky Langley. When they saw this, they wanted his death. They questioned their morality, and through this book they question our morality. Can we forgive a murderer? Can the horrors of a crime be forgiven by being justified by mental illness, by being a victim of child abuse? Is it possible and tolerable to remain silent about perverse acts on the pretext of protecting a family? Are we protecting our family by doing this? 

In The Fact of a Body we are confronted to an incredible investigation that is intertwined with the author’s past. 

This book deals with diverse themes like incest, paedophilia and death penalty, and it is endowed with rare strength and sensibility. 

Alex Marzano-Lesnevich’s novel is moving and fascinating. It was granted, among others, the Lambda Literary Award, the Chautauqua Prize, the Grand Prix des Lectrices de ELLE and the France Inter-JDD award.

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