America is reeling from the
The massacre is the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, and much remains unknown at this point, including the motive of the shooter,
In times of tragedies like these, readers often look to literature for answers, even when they know that some things are beyond explanation. Here are nine books, both fiction and nonfiction, about the victims and perpetrators of mass shootings in North America.
"Columbine" by Dave Cullen (Twelve). Journalist Cullen's detailed nonfiction account of the 1999 mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado, published in 2009, shows how much the news reports immediately following the shooting got wrong. The book takes a deep look at the victims of the shooting as well as the perpetrators, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.
“Gabby: A Story of Courage, Love and Resilience,” by
“A Sniper in the Tower: The Charles Whitman Murders” by Gary M. Lavergne (
“Choosing Hope: How I Moved Forward from Life's Darkest Hour” by Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis with Robin Gaby Fisher (G.P. Putnam's Sons). The 2012 massacre at
“No Right to Remain Silent: What We've Learned from the Tragedy at
"Vernon God Little" by D.B.C. Pierre (Grove). The controversial debut novel from Pierre, an Australian author raised in Mexico, deals with a teenage boy in Texas who runs from the law after his best friend kills several of their classmates. The book won the prestigious Man Booker prize in 2003.
"Project X" by Jim Shepard (Knopf). Shepard's slim 2004 novel follows Edwin and Flake, two unpopular eighth-grade students whose alienation from their classmates leads to a horrible act of revenge.
"We Need to Talk About Kevin" by Lionel Shriver (Counterpoint). Shriver's 2003 Orange Prize-winning novel, adapted into a 2011 film starring Tilda Swinton, tells the story of a mother coming to grips with the actions of her teenage son, who killed several students and staff members at his New York high school.