Kristine Ervin grew up in a small suburb of Oklahoma City and is now an associate professor at West Chester University, outside Philadelphia. She holds an MFA in Poetry from New York University and a Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature, with a focus in nonfiction, from the University of Houston. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Fourth Genre, Crimereads, Crab Orchard Review, Brevity, Passages North, and Silk Road. Her essay "Cleaving To," was named a notable essay in the Best American Essays 2013.
Ervin's debut memoir Rabbit Heart is forthcoming from Counterpoint Press in March 2024. Kristine was just eight years old when two men abducted her mother from a shopping mall in Oklahoma City, drove her to a distant oilfield, and murdered her. First, there was grief. Then the desire to know: what happened to her, what she felt in her last, terrible moments, and who she was before these acts of violence defined her life.
As more information about her mother's death comes to light and detectives continue working on the cold case, Kristine's drive to know her mother intensifies, winding its way into her own fraught adolescence. She reckons with contradictions of what a woman is allowed to be—a self beyond the roles of wife, mother, daughter, victim—what a “true” victim is supposed to look like, and, finally, how complicated, and elusive justice can be.
Told fearlessly and poetically, Rabbit Heart weaves together themes of power, gender, and justice into a manifesto of grief and reclamation: our stories do not need to be simple to be true, and there is power in the telling.