Excavation: A Memoir

Excavation: A Memoir

Excavation by Wendy C. Ortiz will change your life. Readers will find everything here: a gripping and necessary story, luminous writing and an utterly compelling heroine who is both generous and fierce. You will emerge changed, dazzled, energized, disbelieving and yet a believer. Most of all, read this book because, like all great literature, and especially the best memoirs, it will make you feel more alive.”
—Emily Rapp, author of The Still Point of the Turning World and Poster Child

“The time has finally arrived when women are telling the truth—the hard truths, the messy, glorious, loud, tender, screeching corporeal truths—about their lives as they live them and not lived as we are asked to live them. Wendy C. Ortiz’s writing will rearrange your DNA. Permanently, beautifully…”
—Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Chronology of Water and Dora: A Headcase

Review of Excavation in Los Angeles Review of Books

Los Angeles Times profile by Hector Tobar

Small Press Spotlight: Wendy C. Ortiz interviewed by Rigoberto González at Critical Mass: The Blog of the National Book Critics Circle Board of Directors

Press Play interview with Madeleine Brand for KCRW, August 2014

BEYOND THAT: Wendy C. Ortiz In Conversation with Laura Jean Moore in The Brooklyn Rail

Excavation listed as one of “11 Groundbreaking Books About Women Making History With Their Thinking, Activism, and Courage” in Bustle

Excavation is a recommended book by the Booksmith at SFGate

Review of Excavation in ZYZZYVA

Excavation included in “Feminist Summer Reading List (or, Books I Wish High Schools Would Assign For Summer)” at Weird Sister

Jessica Machado interviews Wendy about Excavation in The Rumpus

Review of Excavation in The California Journal of Women Writers by Nidia K. Flores

Review by Myriam Gurba for RADAR Productions blog

Lauren Eggert-Crowe in Conversation with Wendy C. Ortiz in Midnight Breakfast

More Praise for Excavation: A Memoir

“It’s rare to meet a memoirist who can write about the darkest things without judgment and emotional simplification. Wendy C. Ortiz is that kind of writer, and Excavation is a book that’s devastating, funny, tough, broken, and achingly clear all at the same time.”
—Paul Lisicky, author of The Burning House and Lawnboy

“A raw, unflinching memoir, beautifully told, Excavation is a portrait of all that roils beneath the teenage surface, a reminder of the secrets that any kid might be hiding. Ortiz is a fearless and generous storyteller, peeling back the layers of memory, exploring her parents’ alcoholism and her years-long illicit relationship with a teacher, never slipping into the easy traps of sentimentality or self pity. This is an illuminating book; one that resonates deeply with the teenage girl I once was, and one that saddens me as the mother I am now.”
—Cari Luna, author of The Revolution of Every Day

Excavation stopped my heart. Its story is vital, cracking open a dialogue about what we keep secret and how those secrets shape our lives. The narrative is direct and unflinching, pulling you, challenging you, the kind of read where you call in sick because ohmygod what happens next; but between those moments, Ortiz hits pause and looks back, allowing the reader to breathe with her, to reflect with her, to “wrestle with ghosts,” in language so breathtakingly beautiful, so precise and poetic and true.”
—Megan Stielstra, author of Once I Was Cool