Excavating Pain

By

Fittingly ending the memoir with a scene at the La Brea Tar Pits, which trapped and fossilized the unfortunate prehistoric creatures who wandered into them, Ortiz speaks of her personal excavation as a perpetual journey, a necessary exploration of a hidden story. While personal, her memoir is also universal in its undertaking of that discovery of hidden pains and truths, of attempting to move forward by first returning to the unexplored past. Ortiz’s story sifts through dark, difficult matter, and surprises and enlightens us with complex truths we often feel more comfortable leaving unexamined.

Over at ZYZZYVA, Cristina Fries reviews Rumpus contributor Wendy Ortiz’s memoir Excavation, the story of her 5-year-relationship, started as an 8th grader, with one of her school teachers.


Guia Cortassa was born, lives, and works in Milan, Italy. After working as a Contemporary Art curator, she went back to writing. She is a contributing editor for Ondarock and her writing has appeared on Rivista Studio, Flair and the Quietus. She compulsively tweets @gcmorvern. More from this author →