Wendy Ortiz and Narrative Excavation

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

Wendy Ortiz Wendy Ortiz

Sarah Einstein interviews Wendy C. Ortiz, author of Excavation: A Memoir, out this month from Future Tense Books:

The book explores the coerced relationship Ortiz had, beginning at the age of 13, with one of her teachers and it’s impact on her growth and her current understanding of itself. The LA Times says, “It’s a work of unfettered emotions and explicit descriptions that explores her troubled youth and teenage struggles to understand her budding sexuality.” As a reader, I found it to be a work of surprising grace, given its subject matter. Ortiz manages to walk many fine lines: the work never robs her younger self of her agency but never crosses over into implicating her in her own abuse; it never paints the teacher, Jeff, as a romantic figure but it also never robs him of his own humanity. It is a mature, important reflection on the…

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