“Denial is one of the most important books I have read in a decade....Brave, life-changing, and gripping as a thriller....A tour de force.”
One of the world’s foremost experts on terrorism and post-traumatic stress disorder, Jessica Stern has subtitled her book Denial, “A Memoir of Terror.” A brave and astonishingly frank examination of her own unsolved rape at the age of fifteen, Denial investigates how the rape and its aftermath came to shape Stern’s future and her work. The author of the New York Times Notable Book Terror in the Name of God, Jessica Stern brilliantly explores the nature of evil in an extraordinary volume that Louise Richardson, author of What Terrorists Want, calls, “Memorable, powerful and deeply courageous...a riveting read.”
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Hailed by critics and readers alike, Jessica Stern's riveting memoir examines the horrors of trauma and denial as she investigates her own unsolved adolescent sexual assault at the hands of a serial rapist.
Alone in an unlocked house, in a safe suburban Massachusetts town, two good, obedient girls, Jessica Stern, fifteen, and her sister, fourteen, were raped on the night of October 1, 1973.
The rapist was never caught. For over thirty years, Stern denied the pain and the trauma of the assault. Following the example of her family, Stern—who lost her mother at the age of three, and whose father was a Holocaust survivor—focused on her work instead of her terror. She became a world-class expert on terrorism and post-traumatic stress disorder who interviewed extremists around the globe. But while her career took off, her success hinged on her symptoms. After her ordeal, she no longer felt fear in normally frightening situations.
Stern believed she'd disassociated from the trauma altogether, until a dedicated police lieutenant reopened the case. With the help of the lieutenant, Stern began her own investigation to uncover the truth about the town of Concord, her own family, and her own mind. The result is Denial, a candid, courageous, and ultimately hopeful look at a trauma and its aftermath.About the Author:
Jessica Stern is a research professor at Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies and a Fellow at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard’s School of Public Health. She served on the Clinton administration’s National Security Council Staff. She is the author of Denial: A Memoir of Terror; Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year); and The Ultimate Terrorists.
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