Strange Piece of Paradise

Terri Jentz

Many in the West remember the 1977 story: Two Yale students biking across the United States on the BikeCentennial Trail were attacked in an Oregon park as they slept in their tent. The psycho who drove over them with a truck and chopped them up with a hatchet was never caught. Symptomatic of the rise of random violence, the story was proof that no one was safe. Terri Jentz’s memoir covers the attack and its aftermath, her search for the man who left both women with a variety of scars, and the way the world has changed since that summer night in 1977. Jentz’s book is the best sort of memoir: a gripping true-crime story told in the first person by an author with both writing chops and unflinching honesty. She doesn’t let anyone off the hook, including herself, and she has the scars to prove it.