Carrie Carolyn Coco

Brand: Zando
Current Stock: 14
UPC: 9781638930464
Gift Wrapping: Gift Wrapping Available
Authors: Sarah Gerard
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Zando (July 9, 2024)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1638930465
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1638930464

Boston Globe Book We’re Most Excited About This Summer ● An Oprah Daily Best Book of the Summer ● A LitHub Most Anticipated Book of the Year ● A CrimeReads Year of Literary True Crime Pick ● A Best Evidence Most Anticipated True Crime of the Year Pick

Acclaimed author Sarah Gerard turns her keen observational eye and penetrating prose to the 2016 murder of her friend Carolyn Bush, examining the multi-faceted reasons for her death―personal and societal, avoidable and inevitable―as “nuanced and subtly intimate” (NPR) as her lauded essay collection, Sunshine State.

“Astonishing. . . . What stuns about Carrie Carolyn Coco is . . . the intricate ways in which Sarah Gerard unravels poison in the dark corners of Carolyn Bush’s world: a fancy liberal arts college with a chilling history of violence; the violence in Bush’s everyday existence; the web of people who are willing to stand up for Bush’s murderer, some with dubious motives.” ―Esmé Weijun Wang, New York Times bestselling author of The Collected Schizophrenias

On the night of September 28, 2016, twenty-five-year-old Carolyn Bush was brutally stabbed to death in her New York City apartment by her roommate Render Stetson-Shanahan, leaving friends and family of both reeling. In life, Carolyn was a gregarious, smart-mouthed aspiring poet, who had seemingly gotten along well with Render, a reserved art handler. Where had it gone so terribly wrong?

This is the question that has plagued acclaimed author Sarah Gerard and driven her obsessive pursuit to understand this horrific tragedy. In Sarah’s exploration of Carolyn’s life and death, she spent thousands of hours interviewing Carolyn's and Render’s friends and family, poring over court documents and news media, reading obscure writings and internet posts, and attending Carolyn’s memorials and Render’s trial.

What emerged from Sarah’s relentless instinct to follow a story and its characters to their darkest ends is a book that is at once a striking homage to Carolyn’s life, a chilling excavation of a brutal crime, and a captivating whydunit with a shocking conclusion.


Boston Globe Book We’re Most Excited About This Summer ● An Oprah Daily Best Book of the Summer ● A LitHub Most Anticipated Book of the Year ● A CrimeReads Year of Literary True Crime Pick ● A Best Evidence Most Anticipated True Crime of the Year Pick

“What stuns about 
Carrie Carolyn Coco is not merely the tragic murder of a woman by her male roommate, but also the intricate ways in which Sarah Gerard unravels poison in the dark corners of Carolyn Bush's world: a fancy liberal arts college with a chilling history of violence; the violence in Bush's everyday existence; the web of people who are willing to stand up for Bush's murderer, some with dubious motives. Gerard also illuminates Bush's life by making her wildly and shimmeringly alive―she is not merely The Dead Girl of the narrative, but also a complex protagonist whose desires and idiosyncrasies are laid plain in this astonishing exploration.” ―Esmé Weijun Wang, New York Times bestselling author of The Collected Schizophrenias

“Written in Gerard’s trademark detached style, this true crime memoir chronicles the brutal stabbing murder of the author’s friend. Gerard explores the murder from numerous angles, including interviews with the victim’s family and those who knew the perpetrator.” 
―Leland Cheuk, Boston Globe

“To write this nonfictional account, Gerard spent six years interviewing Carolyn’s family members and friends, reading court documents and Reddit threads, and attending Render’s trial to piece together the full story. Given the care and persistence Gerard shows in each chapter, the book is as much a methodical crime drama as a moving tribute to Carolyn’s life.” 
―Francesca Billington, Oprah Daily

“At last, a book about what is left out of most murder stories: the way a death reverberates through a community, forever changing all those who knew and loved the deceased. Sarah Gerard has an exacting eye. She brings her formidable strengths as both a writer and private investigator to bear in 
Carrie Carolyn Coco, as she investigates the shocking murder of her friend. Deeply affecting and impossible to put down.” ―Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, author of The Fact of a Body: A Murder & A Memoir

“[A] wrenching blend of memoir and true crime . . . a poignant portrait of a life cut short and a forceful examination of the cultural forces that shaped Bush’s murder, including gendered violence and inadequate attention to mental health issues on college campuses. It’s a devastating deep dive into a confounding crime.”
 ―Publishers Weekly

“Sarah Gerard’s skills in both creative writing and private investigation are on full display in this disturbing account of her friend Carolyn Bush’s murder by a roommate, and the many iniquities that enabled the crime. She also examines a wider culture of male privilege and entitlement at her alma mater of Bard College, the same school attended by both Carolyn and her killer, drawing a convincing through-line between the university’s abysmal record on sexual assault and mental health treatment and the shocking crime at the heart of her book. Gerard also connects the case into a wider discussion of privilege and power in the New York literary scene, and shows the devastating impact of Carolyn’s loss on an entire community.”
 ―Crime Reads

“In a sweeping act of grace, Sarah Gerard has written an ode, a testament, a love letter to a friend, and the scathing critique of true crime I’ve been waiting for. 
Carrie Carolyn Coco presents an unfathomable act of violence and a depiction of the systemic, patriarchal ills that allow exploitative mythologies to be spun from suffering. This book is a balm and antidote to such narratives―offering, instead, a story full of light, artistry, and strength. I didn’t know Carolyn Bush or her art when I started this book; now I do, and my life is fuller for it. I hope more and more storytelling will dignify, as Gerard has so powerfully done, lives and talents like Carolyn’s, lost too soon.” ―T Kira Madden, author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

“Femicide is explored in a deeply personal manner by Sarah Gerard, whose friend Carolyn Bush was stabbed to death by her New York City roommate in 2016. Bush was a poet, and her roommate Render was an art handler, and Gerard sets out to understand how it came to murder, looking beyond her friend’s ecosystem to the wider systems at work.” 

“A comprehensive, heartfelt . . . examination of the far-reaching impacts of one woman’s life and murder.”

“Who gets to be considered an artist? What are our duties to protect and care for each other? What happens to the stories someone told when they die? What are the ingredients of white male entitlement and systemic violence? These are just a few of the terrible, joyful, philosophical, intractable, ineffable, and wise questions Sarah Gerard ponders in 
Carrie Carolyn Coco. Stylish, sly, strange (in the best way), and sublime.” ―Emma Copley Eisenberg, author of The Third Rainbow Girl: The Long Life of a Double Murder in Appalachia

“A meticulous, maddening, and tenderly crafted exploration of the bureaucracy of loss, the mirror-maze of tragic mourning, and the search for meaning after death, 
Carrie Carolyn Coco provides the rarest form of literary testament in its unswayable pursuit of truth, justice, honor, and love. What an incredible gift Sarah Gerard has summoned from her soul to shed a lasting glow on a singular thinker, artist, and friend, Carolyn Bush, lost far too young, still full of a life most might have never known.” ―Blake Butler, author of Molly

“As a true-crime investigation, readers may be drawn to [
Carrie Carolyn Coco] simply because of the nature of the tragedy. But the work succeeds most of all as a testament to the innumerable relationships, both profound and banal, that make every death worth mourning.” ―Booklist

“In this lyrical masterwork of grief and reckoning, Sarah Gerard turns the tables on true crime, bringing her murdered friend Carolyn Bush fully to life on the page not as a victim but as a dazzling young poet finding her way in New York City. At once an elegy and an investigation, 
Carrie Carolyn Coco celebrates a talented woman’s too-brief spark while fearlessly confronting the shocking forces of wealth and power that protected her confessed murderer at trial. A devastatingly effective interrogation of privilege and justice, riveting right through to its stunning final pages. If this book doesn’t break your heart, you don’t have one.” ―Ellen McGarrahan, author of Two Truths and a Lie: A Murder, A Private Investigator, and Her Search for Justice

“Heart-wrenching, harrowing and relentlessly researched, Sarah Gerard’s 
Carrie Carolyn Coco kept me up at night searching for answers, not only to the looming why at the heart of the story, but to the wider systems of silence and oppression that so often lead to tragedy. An unforgettable account of a true, terrible crime, and a lasting remembrance of a life lost too soon written by one of the most compassionate, searingly talented writers working today.” ―Allie Rowbottom, author of Jell-O Girls

“Sarah Gerard's 
Carrie Carolyn Coco is simultaneously an investigation of a murder, a tribute to the victim’s life, and an expose of the legal and educational systems designed to protect wealthy, white men from their own actions. As a journalist, PI, and writer, Gerard relies on her investigative powers to make sense of the senseless. Deeply felt, impeccably researched, and told with pinpoint precision, Gerard casts a penetrating and enlightened eye on the cracked foundations of justice.” ―Erika Krouse, author of Tell Me Everything: The Story of a Private Investigation

“Sarah Gerard has written a penetrating, engaging, and illuminating exploration of the murder of her friend Carolyn Bush, a young, free-spirited, aspiring poet. Gerard dives deep into a world where privilege and class collide and where truth and justice seem elusive. She raises important questions about mental illness and criminal responsibility and honors her friend with compassion and sensitivity. Gerard combines her talents as a novelist and sharp skills as a journalist to create an impressive work of narrative nonfiction inhabited by complex characters and rich story telling.” 
―Kevin Davis, author of The Brain Defense: Murder in Manhattan and the Dawn of Neuroscience in America’s Courtrooms

About the Author

Sarah Gerard is the author of the essay collection Sunshine State, a New York Times critics’ choice; the novella Binary Star, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times first fiction prize; two chapbooks; and the novel True Love. Her short stories, essays, interviews, and criticism have appeared in the New York TimesGrantaThe BafflerViceBOMB Magazine, and other journals, as well as anthologies. She’s been supported by fellowships and residencies from Yaddo, Tin House, PlatteForum, Ucross, and the Whiting Foundation. She lives in Denver.