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

Tin House. Oct. 2019. 360p. ISBN 9781947793453. $25.95. MEMOIR
As part of the process of healing from her 2003 rape, Vanasco (English, Towson Univ.; The Glass Eye) decides to talk to her rapist, her childhood best friend. This memoir contains the raw and open conversations with her friends and family as well as transcripts of exchanges with the man who raped her. At times the text is linear, at other times fragmented, as the author explores memories and feelings. This book is not only about the author’s own experiences, but how sexual assault and rape has impacted other people in her life. It touches on the conversations people have about sexual assault and more important, the dialogs not had.
VERDICT This fiercely written, sobering account of actions that alter lives forever is recommended for students of sociology, gender studies, and psychology, as well as general readers wishing to learn more about the effects of sexual assault and rape.

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