Download The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir Audiobook

The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir Audiobook, by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich Narrator: Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich, Alex Marzano-Lesnevich Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2017 ISBN: 9781427286543
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"This book is a marvel. The Fact of a Body is equal parts gripping and haunting and will leave you questioning whether any one story can hold the full truth." -- Celeste Ng, author of the New York Times bestselling Everything I Never Told You Before Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich begins a summer job at a law firm in Louisiana, working to help defend men accused of murder, she thinks her position is clear. The child of two lawyers, she is staunchly anti-death penalty. But the moment convicted murderer Ricky Langley’s face flashes on the screen as she reviews old tapes—the moment she hears him speak of his crimes -- she is overcome with the feeling of wanting him to die. Shocked by her reaction, she digs deeper and deeper into the case. Despite their vastly different circumstances, something in his story is unsettlingly, uncannily familiar. Crime, even the darkest and most unsayable acts, can happen to any one of us. As Alexandria pores over the facts of the murder, she finds herself thrust into the complicated narrative of Ricky’s childhood. And by examining the details of Ricky’s case, she is forced to face her own story, to unearth long-buried family secrets, and reckon with a past that colors her view of Ricky's crime. But another surprise awaits: She wasn’t the only one who saw her life in Ricky’s. An intellectual and emotional thriller that is also a different kind of murder mystery, THE FACT OF A BODY is an audiobook not only about how the story of one crime was constructed -- but about how we grapple with our own personal histories. Along the way it tackles questions about the nature of forgiveness, and if a single narrative can ever really contain something as definitive as the truth. This groundbreaking, heart-stopping work, ten years in the making, shows how the law is more personal than we would like to believe -- and the truth more complicated, and powerful, than we could ever imagine. This program is read by the author.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Alexandria Marzano–Lesnevich passionately narrates her memoir…As narrator, her psychological—and physical—struggles as well as her isolation from her family come through in her tone. And while she’s obviously not a professional performer, her voice works to emphasize how her emotions drive her actions and choices during the investigation. A darkly challenging topic read with authentic feeling.”


  • “This is a nonfiction book you could give up novels for… Intertwines a riveting true crime story with a brave memoir, reminding us that facing the truth is our only option.”


  • “An absorbing narrative about secrets, pain, revenge, and, ultimately, the slippery notion of truth…A powerful evocation of the raw pain of emotional scars.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Dream-stippled prose, at once sharp with beauty and lush with horror.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Both stories are gripping enough in their own right to fill a book; Marzano-Lesnevich’s artful entwining enriches them both.”


  • “The writing is superb and gripping.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • Surprising, suspenseful, and moving.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Remarkably evocative and taut with suspense, with a level of nuance that sets this effort apart from other true crime accounts.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A true crime masterpiece.”


  • “Haunting…Marzano-Lesnevich digs into one case that begins to feel oddly familiar and eventually is forced to confront her understanding of justice, forgiveness, and truth.”


  • "This book is a marvel. With unflinching precision and immense compassion, Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich peels apart both a murder case and her own experience to reveal how we try to make sense of the past. The Fact of a Body is equal parts gripping and haunting and will leave you questioning whether any one story can hold the full truth. Celeste Ng, author of the New York Times bestselling Everything I Never Told You

  • The Fact of a Body is unlike any murder story I've ever read, a masterpiece of both reportage and memoir, a book that could only be written by an author with Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich's staggering gifts: a relentless reporter with a law degree from Harvard, a poet's understanding of the cadence of a line, and a novelist's gift for empathy. Walter Benjamin famously said that all great works of art either dissolve a genre or invent one. This book does both, and its greatness is undeniable. Justin St. Germain, author of Son of a Gun
  • The Fact of a Body is a remarkable act of witness, an anatomy of silence and the violence it abets, a book of both public and private accountings. Rejecting the false comfort of certainty, it confronts the inadequacy of all our tools for fathoming not just unforgivable crimes, but the baffling, human grace that can forgive them. This is a profound and riveting book. Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

  • A BookPage Top Pick for May 2017
  • Finalist for the 2018 Indies Choice Book Award for Best Audiobook
  • A London Guardian Best Book of the Year for 2017
  • A Real Simple Pick of Best New Books
  • Shortlisted for the 2018 Chautauqua Prize
  • Shortlisted for the 2018 CWA Gold Dagger for Nonfiction
  • Winner of Lambda Literary Awards - Winner, 2018
  • Among shortlisted titles for Lambda Literary Award - Nominee, 2018

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About the Author

Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich is a 2014 National Endowment for the Arts fellow, an award given for her work on The Fact of a Body. She has received a Rona Jaffe Award and fellowships to the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. Her essays appear in the New York Times, Oxford American, and the anthology Waveform: Twenty-first Century Essays by Women. She lives in Boston and teaches at Grub Street and in the graduate public policy program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.