Cover Image: Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl

Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl

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Member Reviews

An arresting book, it will stay with you for weeks. Exceptionally brave in not just confronting her former friend who raped her, Vanasco also interrogates her own experience with it all and asks the hard questions. As a guy, reading this book proves to be another look at how women's bodies are in constant threat of violation in a patriarchal society that has many misdoings. I'm looking forward to more of Vanasco's writing.
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In this impactful memoir, Vanasco deals with the subject of her rape by someone she considered a close and trusted friend. More than just a re-telling, Vanasco openly shares her conflicting emotions and thoughts she experienced in the aftermath of their rape and in the process of confronting her rapist. From the need to provide personal details that would aide in her credibility to the changing definition of rape and sexual assault, Vanasco provides a look at what a rape victim must wade through in today's world. From the conflict of still having fond memories of the friend who assaulted her to the desire to worry about the comfort of said person, Vanasco provides a look into the conflicting thoughts and emotions of a rape victim. This is an important memoir to read; particularly in today's closer look at the rape culture of our society.
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I am honestly speechless at the bravery displayed by the author to write this book. On the cusp of Chanel Miller's memoir being released, I can only think about what this book would have done for her. What I found to be most enlightening, was that this is an example of rape by someone the author trusted. Brock Turner was essentially a stranger in the dark, an obvious rapist. Vanasco writes of the betrayal of a friend she trusted, who took advantage of her drunk and vulnerable state to assault her. It is written in a steam of consciousness, as she figures out how to process the rape 14 years later. I was fascinated with this book, Bravo to the author for her bravery.
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In this unique memoir, Vanasco talks her her former friend who raped her 14 years prior. She looks at how the two of them have responded (or not) to the incident. It is a memoir of rape, but is also a reflection on what makes talking about assault so difficult for victims. Highly recommended for persons of all gender. For readers of Judith Butler's "Gender Trouble" and Roxane Gay's "Not that Bad."
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Very brave. I have a difficult time with the title. We certainly talked about out assaults back in the 1970's. Most of the girls (some of the boys, too) I knew by the time was 17 had been sexually assaulted and we spoke very openly about it.  I can recall my parents generation trying to shut us up to no avail. We were outraged that the "grownups" around us felt it was just boys being boys and we needed to stand up for ourselves, just smack them, we were told. Actually looking up her aggressor was truly brave. I couldn't do it, even these very many years later. Stuff from those years, I left in those years. Kudos to you Jeannie Vanasco.  I am sure this book will prompt many needed discussions. No subject should be taboo if there are victims. I can't believe Sandusky was so inhibited back in the 80's ! Sad. I certainly hope things are more open now.
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My bookseller quotes float to the surface: "An important book." "A unique book." This contemplative memoir also effectively paired academic research, crime statistics, with heartbreaking raw emotion. The format of the book may give some readers pause, as transcripts of interviews with the author's attacker share equal space with reflection and narrative. In the taped interviews, there's much repetition. But maybe that's important, and may continue to impact the reader after the reading is finished.
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