Virtual Event: Christina Rivera Garza


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

in conversation with MERVE EMRE


March 5, 2023
1:00 PM ET


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$34.00 (book & shipping included) $0.00 (Free RSVP)

Harvard Book Store joins Books and Books, Politics and Prose, and Brazos Bookstore in welcoming CRISTINA RIVERA GARZA—acclaimed author of The Taiga Syndrome and The Iliac Crest—for a discussion of her latest book Liliana's Invincible Summer: A Sister's Search for Justice. She will be joined in conversation by MERVE EMRE—associate professor of American literature at Oxford University.


There are two ticket options available for this event. A link and instructions to access the virtual event on Crowdcast will be sent with the ticket confirmation. Books will be shipped after the virtual event. Please note: we are unable to ship outside of the United States.

Book-Included Ticket: Includes an admission link for one to the virtual event and one hardcover copy of Liliana's Invincible Summer

Admission-Only Ticket: Includes an admission link for one.


About Liliana's Invincible Summer

I seek justice, I finally said. I seek justice for my sister. . . . Sometimes it takes twenty-nine years to say it out loud, to say it out loud on a phone call with a lawyer at the General Attorney’s office: I seek justice.

September 2019. Cristina Rivera Garza travels from her home in Texas to Mexico City, in search of an old, unresolved criminal file. “My name is Cristina Rivera Garza,” she wrote in her request to the attorney general, “and I am writing to you as a relative of Liliana Rivera Garza, who was murdered on July 16, 1990.” It’s been twenty-nine years. Twenty-nine years, three months, and two days since Liliana was murdered by an abusive ex-boyfriend—and Cristina knows there is only a slim chance of recovering the file. And yet, inspired by feminist movements across the world and enraged by the global epidemic of femicide and intimate partner violence, she embarks on a path toward justice. Liliana’s Invincible Summer is the account—and the outcome—of that extraordinary quest.

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. Following her decision to recover her sister’s file, Rivera Garza traces the history of Liliana’s life, from her early romance with a handsome but possessive and short-tempered man, to that exhilarating final summer of 1990 when Liliana loved, thought, and traveled more widely and freely than she ever had before.

Using her remarkable talents as an acclaimed scholar, novelist, and poet, Rivera Garza collected and curated evidence—handwritten letters, police reports, school notebooks, interviews with Liliana’s loved ones—to render and understand a life beyond the crime itself. Through this remarkable and genre-defying memoir, 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.

Praise for Liliana's Invincible Summer

Liliana’s Invincible Summer is a blueprint of one woman’s murder, but it is also the story of hundreds of thousands of women throughout the globe. I was shaken and alerted by Cristina Rivera Garza’s investigation into her own grief. It has inspired me to speak up as she has bravely done.” —Sandra Cisneros

“Cristina Rivera Garza has written something almost miraculous: not a cold case file or true crime story, but an attempt to recover Liliana’s life, her spark, her youth, taken away with such cruelty. This book is a revelation.” —Mariana Enriquez, author of Our Share of Night

“Reading this astounding, lyrical, and brilliant book will open your heart and break it, leaving you more vulnerable to both love and rage.”—Julie Carr, author of Real Life

Cristina Rivera Garza
Cristina Rivera Garza

Cristina Rivera Garza

Cristina Rivera Garza is the author of numerous works of poetry, fiction, and criticism, including Grieving: Dispatches from a Wounded Country (translated by Sarah Booker and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award) and The Taiga Syndrome (translated by Aviva Kana and Suzanne Jill Levine and winner of the Shirley Jackson Award). She is Distinguished Professor and founder of the PhD Program in Creative Writing in Spanish at the University of Houston, Department of Hispanic Studies. In 2020, she was named a MacArthur Fellow in Fiction.

Photo Credit: Marta Calvo

Merve Emre
Merve Emre

Merve Emre

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.

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