March 17 , 2010



In a memoir hailed for its searing candour and wit, Alice Sebold reveals how her life was utterly transformed when, as an eighteen-year-old college freshman, she was brutally raped and beaten in a park near campus.

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What propels this chronicle of her recovery is Sebold's indomitable spirit – as she struggles for understanding (‘After telling the hard facts to anyone, from lover to friend, I have changed in their eyes’); as her dazed family and friends sometimes bungle their efforts to provide comfort and support; and as, ultimately, she triumphs, managing through grit and coincidence to help secure her attacker's arrest and conviction.

In a narrative by turns disturbing, thrilling, and inspiring, Alice Sebold illuminates the experience of trauma victims even as she imparts wisdom profoundly hard-won: ‘You save yourself or you remain unsaved.’

‘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

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