A powerful memoir about the traumas of a perilous childhood, a shattering murder-suicide, and a healing journey from escape to survival to recovery.
Growing up, Lisa Nikolidakis tried to make sense of her childhood, which was scarred by abuse, violence, and psychological terrors so extreme that her relationship with her father was cleaved beyond repair. Having finally been able to leave that relationship behind, surviving meant forgetting. For years, “I’m fine” was a lie Nikolidakis repeated.
Then, on her twenty-seventh birthday, Nikolidakis’s father murdered his girlfriend and her daughter, and turned the gun on himself. Nikolidakis’s world cracked open, followed by conflicted emotions: shock, grief, mourning for the innocent victims, and relief that she had escaped the same fate. In the tragedy’s wake, questions lingered: Who was this man, and why had he inflicted such horrors on her and his last victims? For answers, Nikolidakis embarked on a quest to Greece to find her father’s estranged family and a reckoning with the past she never expected.
In her gripping and moving memoir, Nikolidakis explores not only the making of a killer but her own liberation from the demons that haunted her and her profound self-restoration in the face of unimaginable crimes.
“In this frank and often searing narrative, Nikolidakis examines what she describes as monstrous abuses perpetrated by her father, who, after leaving her family, murdered his new girlfriend and her daughter before committing suicide…With compelling clarity and eloquence, she anatomizes his ability to manipulate…A brave and inspiring account of a movement through pain to a complex reckoning and self-recovery.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A gripping, brutally honest memoir that deals with some heavy themes but will leave readers feeling hopeful and reflective by the end. Readers who enjoy examining the human spirit will be drawn to this book.” —Library Journal (starred review)
“…the best of the [true crime] genre seeks to answer questions more complex than whodunnit. In No One Crosses the Wolf, out from Little A, Lisa Nikolidakis recounts her father’s murder of his girlfriend and her daughter, followed by his suicide, and traces a family history of psychological manipulation.” —Vanity Fair
“Prepare yourself: reading Lisa Nikolidakis is a revelation, the kind that makes you gasp and call your best friend and say, ‘Listen to this sentence, this paragraph, this chapter. Listen to how she has made sense of the parts of us we ran from.’” —Mira Jacob, author of Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversation and The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing
“No One Crosses the Wolf is a striking, thoughtful, and engaging exploration of the inheritance of abuse—the way it passes through generations, the way it echoes through the lives of survivors.” —Dan Chaon, author of Sleepwalk
“This is a benediction as much as a book, a plea for, as Lisa Nikolidakis so beautifully puts it, the cradle of someone else’s tongue. No One Crosses the Wolf is for anyone who has ever been silenced, anyone who has ever had to learn to be a soft cradle to themselves. As a reader, as a writer, and as someone else who lives in this broken and beautiful world, I honor what Nikolidakis has made. This book will mean so much to so many.” —Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, author of The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir
“When a woman tells the truth by beginning with her body, she cracks open the world. Lisa Nikolidakis’s memoir, No One Crosses the Wolf, is a force of nature, a story unearthed from under the weight of a father that brings a woman back to life. Sometimes we carry generational burdens that nearly crush us. Sometimes we run like the wind. This book is a triumph and soul song.” —Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Chronology of Water and Thrust
“Lisa Nikolidakis’s memoir illuminates the dark and unspeakable, in ourselves, in others. Her story is crucial, and her tenacious exploration of the farthest reaches of her life’s difficult corners leaves readers with a fascinating portrait of violence and survival, as well as insight into and comfort around shadows in their own.” —Gabriel Mac, author of Irritable Hearts: A PTSD Love Story
“No One Crosses the Wolf is an insightful, brutally honest, and gripping portrait of a family marked by violence, murder, and suicide. This is a voyage fueled by hope, the desire to know the truth, and incredible resilience. Lisa’s is a beautiful, fast-paced, deeply emotional journey readers won’t soon forget.” —Julianna Baggott, author of The Seventh Book of Wonders