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March 5, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Liliana’s Invincible Summer: A Virtual Evening with Cristina Rivera Garza


March 5, 2023
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Books & Books, Politics & Prose, and Harvard Book Store presents…

A Virtual Evening with


In conversation with Merve Emre


Liliana’s Invincible Summer : A Sister’s Search for Justice

(Hogarth, $28)

Sunday, March 5th, 2023, 1 PM ET | LIVE via Crowdcast


A haunting, unforgettable memoir about a beloved younger sister and the painful memory of her murder, from “one of Mexico’s greatest living writers” (Jonathan Lethem).

About the Book:

A haunting, unforgettable memoir about a beloved younger sister and the painful memory of her murder, from “one of Mexico’s greatest living writers” (Jonathan Lethem).

Can you enjoy yourself while you are in pain? The question, which is not new, arises over and over again during that eternity that is mourning.

In the early hours of July 16, 1990, Liliana Rivera Garza was murdered by her abusive ex-boyfriend. A life full of promise and hope, cut tragically short, Liliana’s story instead became subsumed into Mexico’s dark and relentless history of domestic violence. With Liliana’s case file abandoned by a corrupt criminal justice system, her family, including her older sister Cristina, was forced to process their grief and guilt in private, without any hope for justice.

In luminous, poetic prose, Rivera Garza tells a singular yet universally resonant story: that of a spirited, wondrously hopeful young woman who tried to survive in a world of increasingly normalized gendered violence. It traces the story of her childhood, her early romance with a handsome–but possessive and short-tempered–man, through the exhilarating weeks leading up to that fateful July morning, a summer when Liliana loved,  thought, and traveled more widely and freely than she ever had before.

Using her remarkable talents as a scholar, novelist, and poet, Cristina Rivera Garza returns to Mexico after decades of living in the United States to collect and curate evidence—handwritten letters, police reports, school notebooks, architectural blueprints—in order to render and understand a life beyond the crime itself. Tracing the full arc of their childhood and adolescence in central Mexico, through the painful and confusing years after Liliana’s death, Rivera Garza confronts the trauma of losing her sister, and examines from multiple angles how this tragedy continues to shape who she is—and what she fights for—today


About the Author:

Cristina Rivera Garza is the award-winning author of The Taiga Syndrome and The Iliac Crest, among many other books. A recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” grant and the Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Prize, Rivera Garza is professor of Hispanic studies at the University of Houston, where she also directs the creative writing program.

About the Moderator:

Merve Emre is a professor at Oxford, the author of several books, and an award-winning critic at The New Yorker. She is currently a Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at Wesleyan University.