A former Southern Methodist University track star’s account of how she survived a brutal rape that changed her life.
Going to the United States to study on a full scholarship was a dream come true for the Norwegian-born Kørra. In 2009, just as she was finishing her third semester at SMU, the young runner was kidnapped and raped by three men. The author vowed that her life would go on just as it had before the attack, but in the two years that followed, she found out just how difficult it would be to keep that promise to herself. Kørra describes in detail her struggles with the extreme fear and insomnia that plagued her in the aftermath and the AIDS anti-viral drugs she was forced to take to protect her brutalized body against possible infection. She sought therapy only to discover that having to retell the story of her rape was “overwhelming.” Journalists in Dallas hounded her for her story to the point that she and her roommates had to move to another location in secret, and friends in Norway she had known for years stayed away, unsure of how to treat her. Kørra’s athletic performance suffered for more than a year; so did a relationship she had, which eventually ended. But Kørra was also fortunate in that she had a strong support system that included her family as well as coaches, friends, and teammates in Dallas. When her rapists were captured not long after the attack, her support structure helped her through the wrenching court appearances that followed and did not conclude until 2011. Kørra speaks from a socially and educationally privileged position, which may somewhat limit her memoir’s appeal, but both the book and the foundation she later started to help rape survivors are clear expressions of a personal strength and integrity that are profoundly admirable.
An intimate and honest memoir of survival after trauma.