Chris's Reviews > Lucky

Lucky by Alice Sebold
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Dec 20, 11

it was amazing
bookshelves: crime-related, feminist, diaries-memoirs
Read from December 19 to 20, 2011

Rape is at once both a simple and complext subject. Regardless of the victim and rapist, it ties, cuts, right to the heart of our views about gender. It is impossible to step this, and it has been used to inspire terror and as a form of punishment.

It should be note that before I read this book, I had read the jezebel article about You Deserve Nothing, to which Ms. Sebold is connected. My reading of this book is most likely affected by that article.

Sebold's story starts with an act that despite its violence, its illegality, is simple. Simple because most acts are, because it is simply violent, because it is simply wrong. Sebold's graphic description of her rape makes the reader at once a unwilling quasi voyager while shattering and subverting all the romance novel fantasies.

The complex follows afterward as Sebold details not only her reaction, but those of the police, the lawyers, her friends, her family, her community's (both college and home) reaction to her rape. This is both raw and compelling because it touches at the complex issues that lie at the hear of any reaction to rape.

Even though Sebold's rape happened in 1981, all of what she deals with can still be found today. No, I'm not talking about just where rape is used as punishment or where women are killed by thier family or where women get thier virginity tested upon arrest. I'm talking every where. Here in Philadelphia, a female judge threw out rape charges because the woman who brought the charges had arranged to have sex for money with two of the men who "ran a train on her" (the total number was over five); therefore, according to the judge, she couldn't be raped, just robbed, and anyway she was asking for it. Even in "civilized" or "modern" countries, the victim, no matter how innocent faces accusation - what were you doing there, how were you dressed and so on. Society wants to blame him or her. Yes, him. Just because a young teenage boy sleeps with his teacher doesn't mean he is "lucky". Reverse the sexes, or think about Penn State. (And for the record, she seduced me, doesn't work when it is a 12 year old and fifty year old).

It is to Sebold's credit that in this memoir she doesn't come across as particularly likable or admirable. Nor does she to want the reader's admiration or liking or, more importantly, pity. She doesn't want any of these things. She describes what is and what was. This is important, as important as those inspirational stories that we read in school. Everyday is as important as insipirational, especially when, considering the recent STATS, such attacks are, sadly, an everyday occurance.
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