The Dead Girl (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

"It's hard to know where to begin with a book like this... Let me just say it is amazing. Imagine if Joan Didion or Maggie Nelson wrote a true crime book. Thernstrom's pain and confusion over the murder of her best friend comes through on every page, and yet she is always quick to examine her own thoughts and emotions--how much of what she is feeling is 'real' and how much is just a need to put her life into the context of a story. Haunting. Brilliant." - Emily

— From Emily's Staff Picks


Melanie Thernstrom's senior thesis was entitled Mistakes of Metaphor, an account of the mysterious disappearance and murder of her best friend, Bibi Lee. That thesis, reworked as The Dead Girl, was published by Pocket Books in 1990 to major critical acclaim.
Berkeley student Roberta (Bibi) Lee went running with her lover Bradley Page on a Sunday in 1984. He came back alone. When she failed to return police mounted one of the largest missing-person searches in California history. Five weeks later Roberta's battered body was found and within hours, Page had confessed to Roberta's murder--a confession he was later to recant. With its enduring themes of innocence and evil, truth and uncertainty, human motives and emotions, The Dead Girl is a complex exploration of the nature of reality and the frail, shifting and suspect ways in which we respond to it.

About the Author

Melanie Thernstrom is an author and contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine. The author of Halfway Heaven: A Diary of a Harvard Murder (Doubleday, 1997) and The Pain Chronicle (FS&G 2010). The Dead Girl was her first book. Melanie lives with her husband and two children in Palo Alto, CA. David Shields is the author of fifteen books, including the New York Times bestseller The Thing about Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead; Reality Hunger, named one of the best books of 2010 by more than thirty publications; and Black Planet, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His work has been translated into twenty languages. He lives in Seattle, WA.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781940436135
ISBN-10: 1940436133
Publisher: Pharos Editions
Publication Date: October 1st, 2014
Pages: 430
Language: English