The Meaning of Matthew

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The Meaning of Matthew: My Son's Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed is a 2009 biographical novel about the life of Matthew Shepard, written by his mother, Judy Shepard. The book was published by Hudson Street Press on September 3, 2009 and was featured as a New York Times best-seller for the week of September 27, 2009.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

In a review for The Houston Chronicle, Elizabeth Kennedy commented on the imagery and specific details of the memories put forth by Judy Shepard, stating that the book was a "unalloyed memoir of remarkable clarity and restraint", adding that, "As plainspoken and unassuming as this memoir is, the scenes from the life interrupted are indelible".[2] Aly Semigran for Entertainment Weekly gave the memoir an "A" rating, noting that, "Shepard writes with unwavering honesty, devoting the right amount of time to each part of her story."[3] Kathi Isserman, writing for Curve Magazine said that the memoir was "raw, honest and real, with some surprising new details never before published".[4] In another later review for Curve Magazine, Isserman added that Shepard doesn't "sugarcoat her son's life in this starkly honest memoir" and that "the reader also learns much about Matthew's imperfect life as a son, brother and young man".[5]


  1. ^ Staff writer (September 27, 2009). "Best Sellers - September 27, 2009". The New York Times. Retrieved October 12, 2012. 
  2. ^ Elizabeth Kennedy (September 4, 2009). "The Meaning of Matthew by Judy Shepard". The Houston Chronicle. Retrieved October 12, 2012. 
  3. ^ Aly Semigran (September 4, 2009). "The Meaning of Matthew (2009)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 12, 2012. 
  4. ^ Kathi Isserman (July 1, 2010). "The Meaning of Matthew - Judy Shepard (Book review)". Curve. Retrieved October 12, 2012.  (subscription required)
  5. ^ Kathi Isserman (November 1, 2010). "The meaning of Matthew: my Son's Murder in Laramie, and a world transformed Judy Shepard (Page Turners) (Book review)". Curve. Retrieved October 12, 2012.  (subscription required)