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Mikita Brottman: An Unexplained Death: The True Story of a Body at the Belvedere

Event date: 
Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Event address: 
6080 Falls Road
Baltimore, MD 21209
Event Tickets: 
Event Sponsor: 
The Ivy Bookshop
Event Location: 
The Ivy Bookshop
Not Feature Event
By the Author: 

An Unexplained Death: The True Story of a Body at the Belvedere  is an obsessive investigation into a mysterious death at the Belvedere—a once-grand hotel—and a poignant, gripping meditation on suicide and voyeurism. 

“The poster is new. I notice it right away, taped to a utility pole. Beneath the word ‘Missing,’ printed in a bold, high-impact font, are two sepia-toned photographs of a man dressed in a bow tie and tux.”

Most people would keep walking. Maybe they’d pay a bit closer attention to the local news that evening. Mikita Brottman spent ten years sifting through the details of the missing man’s life and disappearance, and his purported suicide by jumping from the roof of her own apartment building, the Belvedere.

As Brottman delves into the murky circumstances surrounding Rey Rivera’s death—which begins to look more and more like a murder—she contemplates the nature of and motives behind suicide, and uncovers a haunting pattern of guests at the Belvedere, when it was still a historic hotel, taking their own lives on the premises. Finally, she fearlessly takes us to the edge of her own morbid curiosity and asks us to consider our own darker impulses and obsessions.

Mikita Brottman is an author and psychoanalyst with particular interests in true crime, forensics, psychoanalysis, animals, abjection, and the unexplained.  Her articles and case studies have appeared in Film Quarterly, The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, New Literary History, American Imago, and elsewhere. She is the author of numerous academic books, including High Theory, Low Culture (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), The Solitary Vice: Against Reading (Counterpoint, 2009, and Hyena (Reaktion, 2013), as well as commercial books like The Great Grisby.  She also teaches prisoners in the Jessup Correctional Institute Prison Scholars Program, and her book about this work, The Maximum Security Book Club, came out in 2016 from HarperCollins. 

Event | by Dr. Radut