Mercy: A Memoir of Medical Trauma and True Crime Obsession


Product Details

$18.00  $16.74
Barrelhouse Inc.
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.2 X 0.4 inches | 0.48 pounds

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About the Author

Marcia Trahan is a native Vermonter, a freelance book editor, and a semiprofessional patient. She earned a bachelor of arts in psychology from the University of Vermont and a master of fine arts in writing and literature from Bennington College. Marcia's essays and poetry have appeared in Fourth Genre, apt, Clare, Anderbo, Blood Orange Review, Connotation Press, Kansas City Voices, and the LaChance Publishing anthology Women Reinvented: True Stories of Empowerment and Change. Bloodletting, a post-cancer narrative, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her work has twice received honorable mention in the New Millennium Writing Awards.


"Mercy is a bracing account of the perverse satisfactions of true crime. Marcia Trahan unravels the threads of her own fascination with stories of violence against women, and they lead to unexpected--and darkly thrilling--places."-- Rachel Monroe, author of Savage Appetites: Four True Stories of Women, Crime, and Obsession

"Mercy is a harrowing exploration of Marcia Trahan's lifelong fascination with true crime despite her best efforts to escape its dark pull. By turns cultural criticism and personal journey, the book is a painful reckoning with the realities of living in a female body under the specter of the male gaze." -- Carolyn Murnick, author of The Hot One

"Searingly honest and deftly written, Mercy is the story of a unique psychological journey that ends in satisfying self-revelation." --BookPage

"Written with polished craft and sly wit, Marcia Trahan's memoir Mercy offers the reader the genre's best: a compelling personal narrative of peculiarly dark obsessions elegantly tethered to the wider culture. Mercy ultimately reveals as much about the reader and her world as it does about the narrator. Trahan's gift for embedding ultimate questions within subversive reflections on medicine, murder, and marriage, makes this memoir a fascinating read from a brilliant writer. Lovely."-- Kelly J. Beard, author of An Imperfect Rapture: A Memoir, winner of the 2017 Zone 3 Press Creative Nonfiction Book Award

"Mercy is a double-barreled narrative of health scares and murder stories. By combining these, Trahan highlights the fragility of both our physical and emotional lives. With surgically precise prose, she examines the push and pull of death--wanting one's own survival while being drawn to the tales of others' demise. This is a book about violation: the sanctioned violation of the body during surgery, and the unsanctioned violation of bodily harm. Trahan does a masterful job of showing how, psychically, these two kinds of violence overlap. In the end, this is a beautifully written book about being merciful. Especially to ourselves, which sometimes can be the hardest kind of mercy to give."-- Sue William Silverman, author of How to Survive Death and Other Inconveniences