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

A Memoir

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Pub Date 01 Oct 2019 | Archive Date 30 Sep 2019

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Description

Jeannie Vanasco has had the same nightmare since she was a teenager. She startles awake, saying his name. It is always about him: one of her closest high school friends, a boy named Mark. A boy who raped her. When her nightmares worsen, Jeannie decides—after fourteen years of silence—to reach out to Mark. He agrees to talk on the record and meet in person. "It's the least I can do," he says. Jeannie details her friendship with Mark before and after the assault, asking the brave and urgent question: Is it possible for a good person to commit a terrible act? Jeannie interviews Mark, exploring how rape has impacted his life as well as her own. She examines the language surrounding sexual assault and pushes against its confines, contributing to and deepening the #MeToo discussion. Exacting and courageous, Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl is part memoir, part true crime record, and part testament to the strength of female friendships—a recounting and reckoning that will inspire us to ask harder questions and interrogate our biases. Jeannie Vanasco examines and dismantles long-held myths of victimhood, discovering grace and power in this genre-bending investigation into the trauma of sexual violence.

Jeannie Vanasco has had the same nightmare since she was a teenager. She startles awake, saying his name. It is always about him: one of her closest high school friends, a boy named Mark. A boy who...


A Note From the Publisher

LibraryReads votes due by 9/1 and IndieNext votes due by 8/5.

LibraryReads votes due by 9/1 and IndieNext votes due by 8/5.


Advance Praise

Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl explores the common experience of rape with uncommon nuance and intense tenderness. In the process, the book also unexpectedly becomes a warm celebration of female friendship. Vanasco reveals the boundaries of your thoughts and feelings. Then she takes you beyond.” - YZ Chin, author of THOUGH I GET HOME

“Vanasco’s wildly courageous decision to confront her rapist, question him, meet with him, and then invite her readers into her processing of that experience is, frankly, stunning. This is a book I’ll teach and reread well into the future, grateful that fewer and fewer girls will grow up without the opportunity to talk about these things.” - Angela Pelster, author of LIMBER

“Part memoir, part interview, Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl interrogates the terms of betrayal, the limits of redemption, asking us how can we forgive when we never truly forget?” - Timothy Taranto, author of ARS BOTANICA

“In Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl, Jeannie Vanasco has done something extraordinary. She explodes rape culture at the level of language, shows us how we are trapped and how we might make ourselves free. This is a brilliant book, an astonishingly fierce inquiry into the places language won't go.” - Emily Geminder, author of DEAD GIRLS

Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl explores the common experience of rape with uncommon nuance and intense tenderness. In the process, the book also unexpectedly becomes a warm...


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ISBN 9781947793453
PRICE $25.95 (USD)

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Featured 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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