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Four Ways of Looking at a Campus Murder

An excerpt from I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai, recommended by Steph Opitz Introduction by Steph Opitz A few confessions: I listened to Serial's first season as it was released. (My husband and I would race home from our offices in Austin, Texas to listen to the podcast together. We'd shake our fists and yell “the cell phone towers!”) Also, I read a decent amount of True Crime. I'm around the same age as Rebecca Makkai, and as Bodie Kane, the protagonist of Makkai's latest triumph, I Have Some Questions for You. Making me, too, a woman who came of age well before #MeToo was a hashtag, and very much during the time when pretty, maybe-provocative girls were assumed to be asking for whatever men did to them. This is all to say, yes, this book— a podcaster returning to teach at her alma mater, while pursuing a hidden agenda to exonerate the man charged with murdering her roommate—piqued my interest. As you'll read in this excerpt, a collection of the novel's interstitial chapters, there are a few ways Makkai pokes the bear. The bear is the culture around violence and victimhood. The bear is the many people who might have killed Thalia—let alone who, in actual fact, killed her. The bear was the possibility of violence and exploitation that swirled around the students, even as members of a protected, privileged, boarding school community. While teaching, Bodie begins a covert investigation of the events […]

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