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In the summer of 1990, Cristina Rivera Garza’s sister Liliana was murdered in her native Mexico. An arrest warrant was filed for her ex-boyfriend, but he disappeared during the investigation. Twenty-nine years after Liliana’s death, in 2019, Rivera Garza travels back on a mission to find her sister’s missing case file—and the suspect who fled. In her genre-defying memoir, she paints a portrait of her sister as an architecture student, a cinephile, an activist, and a swimmer. And she retraces her sister’s footsteps in her final days, interweaving excerpts from Liliana’s journals and evidence from the case, including letters and blueprints, in her quest for the truth. Instead of asking how a woman like Liliana could end up in an abusive situation, Rivera Garza probes why women bear the responsibility for male violence and sheds light on femicide, the murder of a woman because of her gender, calling for the end of oppressive, Byzantine systems that keep killers free and women in danger. —Meg Zukin

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