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Reading Groups

University Libraries book discussion series schedules, discussion questions, and additional resources.

Highway of Tears book

Book cover for Highway of Tears. Orange background with pacific northwest indigenous motifs.

February 2023 University Libraries Great Read:

Highway of Tears: A True Story of Racism, Indifference, and the Pursuit of Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls by Jessica McDiarmid


About the book: "In the vein of the bestsellers Ill Be Gone in the Dark and The Line Becomes a River, a penetrating, deeply moving account of the missing and murdered indigenous women and girls of Highway 16, and a searing indictment of the society that failed them.

For decades, Indigenous women and girls have gone missing or been found murdered along an isolated stretch of highway in northwestern British Columbia. The corridor is known as the Highway of Tears, and it has come to symbolize a national crisis.

Journalist Jessica McDiarmid meticulously investigates the devastating effect these tragedies have had on the families of the victims and their communities, and how systemic racism and indifference have created a climate in which Indigenous women and girls are overpoliced yet underprotected. McDiarmid interviews those closest to the victims—mothers and fathers, siblings and friends—and provides an intimate firsthand account of their loss and unflagging fight for justice. Examining the historically fraught social and cultural tensions between settlers and Indigenous peoples in the region, McDiarmid links these cases to others across Canada—now estimated to number up to four thousand—contextualizing them within a broader examination of the undervaluing of Indigenous lives in the country.

Highway of Tears is a piercing exploration of our ongoing failure to provide justice for the victims and a testament to their families’ and communities’ unwavering determination to find it."

Dates: February 20, 27 and March 6, 2023 (Mondays)

Time: 530pm-7pm

Location: TTU Urban Tech
1120 Main St., Ste 206, Lubbock, TX 79401
Google map:

This signup will also allow us to send a Zoom link for participation should you be unable to make it to the downtown Lubbock location.

Books will be available free for the first 10 participants who register AND attend either a virtual and face-to-face reading group on the title.

Signup to attend via this form.

Questions? Contact Josh Salmans, for more information


This reading group series is sponsored jointly by the Humanities Center at Texas Tech, Urban Tech and the University Libraries.

Author Information

Jessica McDiarmid is a Canadian journalist who has worked across North America and Africa. Her first book, Highway of Tears, was a finalist for the RBC Taylor Prize and the Hubert Evans Prize and a national bestseller.

Cover Artist:
Kym Gouchie is a singer-songwriter and visual artist from the Lheidli T’enneh Nation, also known as Prince George, British Columbia. A mother of four and grandmother of nine, Kym is an arts and culture advisor and advocate for Indigenous people. She is a spokeswoman and member of the Aboriginal School District Elders and Knowledge Keepers Committee in the Prince George region.

YouTube Videos on the Highway of Tears


Walking Towards Justice in Indian Country



Vice, Searchers: Highway of Tears