"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
"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 a brave, illuminating book..."
--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