Natasha Cooper

Secrets & Despair

The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir

By

Flatiron Books 322pp £20 order from our bookshop

The existence of capital punishment in the USA horrifies many people, both in that country and in the rest of the world. Large numbers of American law students have worked during their holidays for lawyers defending death row prisoners. One such is Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich. While a student at Harvard, she went to work for Clive Stafford Smith’s law firm in Louisiana, arriving there not long after he had saved the life of Ricky Langley, a paedophile who had murdered a six-year-old boy. As Marzano-Lesnevich watched the tape of Langley’s original confession, she realised that she wanted him to die for his crimes. Shocked by her own reaction, she later writes, ‘I came here to help save the man on the screen. I came to help save men like him. I came because my ideals and who I am exist separately from what happened in the past. They must. If they don’t, what will my life hold?’

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,