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Sioux Falls Feminists endorse Denial for the author's
courage to describe what happened to her and
to share it with the rest of the world.

Denial
A Memoir of Terror

Denial by Jessica Stern (2011) - 336 pages
Denial at Amazon.com

"I have listened and I have been quiet all my life.
But now I will speak."

One of the world's foremost experts on terrorism and post-traumatic stress disorder investigates her own unsolved adolescent sexual assault at the hands of a serial rapist, and in so doing, examines the horrors of trauma and denial.

Alone in an unlocked house in a safe neighborhood in the suburban town of Concord, Massachusetts, two good, obedient girls, Jessica Stern, fifteen, and her sister, fourteen, were raped on the night of October 1, 1973. The girls had just come back from ballet lessons and were doing their homework when a strange man armed with a gun entered their home. Afterward, when they reported the crime, police were skeptical.

The rapist was never caught. For over thirty years, Stern denied the pain and 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, a lauded academic and writer who interviewed terrorists around the globe. But while her career took off, her success hinged on her symptoms. After her ordeal she could not feel fear in normally frightening situations.

Stern believed she'd disassociated from the trauma altogether, until a devoted police lieutenant reopened the sisters' rape case and brought back to that harrowing night more than three decades past. With the help of the lieutenant, Stern began her own investigation - bringing to bear all her skills as a researcher - to uncover the truth about the town of Concord, her family, and her own mind. The result is Denial, a candid, courageous, and ultimately hopeful look at a trauma and its aftermath.

Jessica Stern lectures on terrorism at Harvard University and is a member of the Hoover Institution Task Force on National Security and Law. She holds a doctorate in public policy from Harvard. She served as a staff member of the National Security Council during the Clinton administration. A 2009-2010 Guggenheim Fellow, she was selected by Time magazine in 2001 as one of seven thinkers whose innovative ideas "will change the world." Stern is the author of the New York Times Notable Book Terror in the Name of God and The Ultimate Terrorist. She lives with her husband and son in Massachusetts.

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Denial
A Memoir of Terror

Sioux Falls Feminists endorse Denial for the author's
courage to describe what happened to her and
to share it with the rest of the world.