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

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 30 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

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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