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Thirteen Girls Paperback – August 3, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Nine-Banded Books; First edition (August 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1467521973
  • ISBN-13: 978-1467521970
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 4.8 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,218,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Thirteen Girls manages the improbable feat of conjuring up the full horror and emotional devastation of serial homicide by focusing exclusively on the aftermath of the crimes and those left to deal with the consequences: family members, police officers, witnesses, survivors. Known for her brilliant, provocative cultural criticism, Mikita Brottman has produced a stunning work of crime fiction--a genuine tour de force.
--Harold Schechter, author of The Serial Killer Files

Mikita Brottman takes terrifying risks but never puts a foot wrong. These stories begin with delicate precision and build stunning pace and power. This is fiction that is truer and more penetrating than the savage facts at its core.
--Katherine Dunn, author of Geek Love

About the Author

Mikita Brottman (born October 30, 1966) is a British scholar, psychoanalyst, author and cultural critic known for her psychological readings of the dark and pathological elements of contemporary culture. She received a D.Phil in English Language and Literature from Oxford University, was a Visiting Professor of Comparative Literature at Indiana University, and was Chair of the program in Engaged Humanities with an emphasis in Depth Psychology at the Pacifica Graduate Institute from 2008 to 2010. She currently teaches at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Brottman's articles and case studies have appeared in Film Quarterly, The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, New Literary History, and American Imago. She has written influentially on horror films, critical theory, reading, psychoanalysis, and the work of the American folklorist, Gershon Legman.

More About the Author

I'm a professor in the Department of Humanistic Studies at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and a critic, author and analyst. I write and teach about the uncanny, abjection, true crime, esotericism, horror in film and literature, and the history of psychoanalysis. I live in the old Belvedere Hotel in Baltimore, with my partner David Sterritt and our popular and charismatic French bulldog, Grisby.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Laura on May 18, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ted Bundy. Son of Sam. The Hillside Stranglers. While much has been written about such men, the same cannot be said of their victims. If remembered at all, it is often only posthumously, as icons of innocence and ill fortune, or worse—mere notches on a serial killer’s belt.

Mikita Brottman’s Thirteen Girls is a collection of stories about thirteen young women whose lives have collided with the dark urges of some of America’s most notorious murderers. Although each story is based on or inspired by an actual case, Brottman never names the killers themselves, rendering them faceless in an artful reversal of roles. Likewise, the details of each girl’s death are secondary to the effects she has on the lives of those around her, from family members to homicide detectives to the homeless man who stumbles upon her body.

Thirteen Girls is Brottman’s first foray into fiction. A cultural critic, she is also a psychoanalyst—a fact that isn’t surprising, considering how clearly she captures the psyches of those living with the aftermath of violence. Some stories are deeply personal, almost confessional in tone. Others are written at a distance. One of my favorites takes the form of a therapist’s notes about a murder victim’s best friend, a paranoid ex-Scientologist.

"In treatment, B talked constantly about A, becoming alternately depressed and elated. She had delusions of A being a saint or an angel watching over her from heaven, of sending her messages in the form of radio waves, cloud patterns, or words in newspaper headlines." (p74)

In an afterword, Brottman writes of the difficulty she had finding a home for Thirteen Girls. ‘These stories are just too stark and unforthcoming to be satisfying.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Akstin on July 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Whereas most true crime books take the perspective of either the criminal or the investigator, this one focuses on - and thoroughly humanizes - the victims of serial killers. Their everyday lives, families, relationships are described in enough detail to make them come across as the real people they were. This, combined with the random, senseless nature of their deaths, makes for both a fascinating and saddening read. Any of these 'Thirteen Girls,' if not for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or straying into the path of the wrong man, could easily be alive today. Maybe it's knowing this that makes the book, for all its laudable intentions and effective, concise execution, seem like a bit of a futile gesture in the end. Recommended regardless.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eileen McHenry on July 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thirteen stories from the POV of people in the vicinity of a woman's murder, each based on a real case. This is not about the murders themselves but about how people -- the boyfriend's daughter, the policeman on the scene, the neighbor who didn't really know her that well, the mother of the victim. Each speaker has a distinctive voice that leaves a chilling impression. Really worth a look.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Linda on September 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
The subject sounds depressing: these girls are the real victims of real events. And yet by placing the girls centre stage, the book marks their death with a solemn tribute. We learn the details of their lives, their families and relationships. They become real to us. We are led to explore the trauma that the simple words "serial killer" leaves behind. The book makes compulsive reading.
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