Hannah, a 52 year-old photographer, and Graham, a 41 year-old anatomy professor, are jurors sequestered during a sensational three-week trial: a toddler murdered by one of his twin sisters. At the court appointed cut-rate motel off the interstate, they fall into an intense, furtive affair, but they keep their promise as jurors never to discuss the trial. It is only during deliberations that the lovers learn they are on opposing sides of the case. Suddenly they look at one another through an altogether different lens; at the same time they realize their fellow jurors are wise to their affair. After the trial, Hannah returns to her much older husband amidst an ongoing media frenzy over the case, now fuelled by public outrage at a jury that seems to have convicted the wrong twin. Now the jurors are called in by the judge: she has received an anonymous letter about the affair, and she is preparing to release the jurors names to the media. From that point on, Hannah’s “one last dalliance before she is too old” takes on profoundly personal and moral consequences, as The Body in Question moves to its affecting, powerful, and surprising conclusion.
Jill Ciment was born in Montreal, Canada. She has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards, among them a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, two New York Foundation for the Arts fellowships, the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, and a Guggenheim fellowship. Ciment is a professor at the University of Florida. She lives in Gainesville, Florida, and Brooklyn, New York.