Each and Her
By Valerie Martinez
(University of Arizona Press, Paperback, 9780816528592, 78pp.)
Publication Date: September 2010
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Martinez departs from traditional narrative to reveal the hidden effects and outcomes of the horrific and heart-wrenching cases of femicide. These poems--lyric fragments and prose passages that form a collage--have an intricate relation to one another, creating a complex literary quilt that feels like it can be read from the beginning, the end, or anywhere in between. Martinez is personally invested in the topic, evoking the loss of her sister, and "Each and Her" emerges as a biography of sorts and a compelling homage to all those who have suffered. Other authors may elaborate on or investigate this topic, but Martinez humanizes it by including names, quotations, realistic details, and stark imagery.
The women of Juarez, like other women around the world, are ravaged by inequality, discontinuity, politics, and economic plagues that contribute to gender violence. Martinez offers us a poignant and alarming glance into another world with these never-before-told stories. Her refreshing and explosive voice will keep readers transfixed and intrigued about these events and emotions--removed from us and yet so close to the heart.