AFTER SILENCE by Nancy Venable Raine


Rape and My Journey Back
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An exquisitely written account of a personal journey to hell and back. Raine’s story of coming to terms with the rape that occurred when she was 39 years old is at once emotionally searing and insightful. A writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine and Southern Poetry Review, Raine writes with a rare eloquence even as she describes the most horrible scenes and emotions. As she waits in the hospital for medical help, for instance, after being raped and tortured for three hours, she describes herself as “the scene of a crime.” The woman she was before the rape has simply disappeared. “The rapist had stolen something at the center of what I had known as myself,” she confides. “The rapist himself might be caught, but he could never produce the woman who had not been raped.” This book is Raine’s attempt to rediscover that woman. While some memoirs are forthrightly revisionist, Raine courageously leaves no part of her inner soul unbared and no social taboo unquestioned as she seeks to better understand one of America’s most unspeakable crimes. Using herself as an example, she explains how rape survivors frequently absorb the self-loathing and hatred that so often propel rapists to commit their crimes. She questions society’s discomfort with this so-called “sexual” crime and how our unwillingness to acknowledge and discuss rape-- none of her friends ever asked her exactly what happened--helps to perpetuate victims’ angst and shame. And Raine meticulously explains how post-traumatic stress syndrome commonly affects rape survivors years after the actual event. This elegiac odyssey toward understanding will speak to anyone who has undergone a similar disaster and brings lightt o a subject generally cloaked in darkness. (Author tour)

Pub Date: Aug. 26th, 1998
ISBN: 0-517-70683-0
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Crown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1998


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