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The subject of rape has long been ‘unspeakable’ and remains one of the most controversial and emotionally charged issues for society. For Nancy Venable Raine, second only to the soul-breaking burden of her rape at 39 was the silence that shrouded it, a silence born of her own feelings of shame and the incomprehension of others. She uses the redemptive power of language to lift the silence that is rape’s legacy and to promote an understanding of the stigma that haunts rape’s survivors.
Using wide-ranging sources from literature, mythology, psychology and feminist theory, she exposes the complicated damage and response caused by rape. Like William Styron’s book on depression, this should become the definitive work on the effects and recovery of rape, so intelligently and beautifully is it written.


Raine's dignity shines through this brave and moving book ... she brings to her account a gentle eloquence that unfolds layers of meaning, cultural, psychological and even mythical
Raine is a rare spirit and gifted writer and this is a devastating book. Her probing of the appalling burden of shame is both shattering and intelligent
There are few first-person accounts of the experience of being sexually pillaged and its aftermath. AFTER SILENCE is one of the first and, I would wager, it is always going to be one of the best ... a book that dignifies the human spirit. It should be read by everyone' NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
'A starkly candid memoir of personal trauma and an ingenious literary discussion of an all-too-often unspeakable crime’