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A hard-hitting and redemptive memoir from Alice Sebold, bestselling author of The Lovely Bones.
Alice Sebold lives in California with her husband, the writer Glen David Gold. She is the author of the critically acclaimed bestselling novel The Lovely Bones.
When Sebold, the author of the current bestseller The Lovely Bones, was a college freshman at Syracuse University, she was attacked and raped on the last night of school, forced onto the ground in a tunnel "among the dead leaves and broken beer bottles." In a ham-handed attempt to mollify her, a policeman later told her that a young woman had been murdered there and, by comparison, Sebold should consider herself lucky. That dubious "luck" is the focus of this fiercely observed memoir about how an incident of such profound violence can change the course of one's life. Sebold launches her memoir headlong into the rape itself, laying out its visceral physical as well as mental violence, and from there spins a narrative of her life before and after the incident, weaving memories of parental alcoholism together with her post-rape addiction to heroin. In the midst of each wrenching episode, from the initial attack to the ensuing courtroom drama, Sebold's wit is as powerful as her searing candor, as she describes her emotional denial, her addiction and even the rape (her first "real" sexual experience). She skillfully captures evocative moments, such as, during her girlhood, luring one of her family's basset hounds onto a blue silk sofa (strictly off-limits to both kids and pets) to nettle her father. Addressing rape as a larger social issue, Sebold's account reveals that there are clear emotional boundaries between those who have been victims of violence and those who have not, though the author attempts to blur these lines as much as possible to show that violence touches many more lives than solely the victim's. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Sebold was raped as a college freshman, but the police said she was "lucky." At least she wasn't murdered and dismembered like the girl before her. Now a journalist, Sebold here details the aftermathÄposttraumatic stress syndrome, heroin addiction, and, finally, some measure of understanding. This book is based partly on a feature appearing in the New York Times Sunday Magazine that prompted an appearance on Oprah.
A rueful, razor-sharp memoir . . . Sebold tells what it's like to go through a particular kind of nightmare in order to tell what it's like - slowly, bumpily, triumphantly - to heal. -- Sarah Kerr * Vogue *