Synopses & Reviews
In this powerful memoir, philosopher Karyn L. Freedman travels back to a Paris night in 1990 when she was twenty-two and, in one violent hour, her life was changed forever by a brutal rape. One Hour in Paris
takes the reader on a harrowing yet inspirational journey through suffering and recovery both personal and global. We follow Freedman from an apartment in Paris to a French courtroom, then from a trauma center in Toronto to a rape clinic in Africa. At a time when as many as one in three women in the world have been victims of sexual assault and when many women are still ashamed to come forward, Freedmans book is a moving and essential look at how survivors cope and persevere.
At once deeply intimate and terrifyingly universal, One Hour in Paris weaves together Freedmans personal experience with the latest philosophical, neuroscientific, and psychological insights on what it means to live in a body that has been traumatized. Using her background as a philosopher, she looks at the history of psychological trauma and draws on recent theories of posttraumatic stress disorder and neuroplasticity to show how recovery from horrific experiences is possible. Through frank discussions of sex and intimacy, she explores the consequences of sexual violence for love and relationships, and she illustrates the steep personal cost of sexual violence and the obstacles faced by individual survivors in its aftermath. Freedmans book is an urgent call to face this fundamental social problem head-on, arguing that we cannot continue to ignore the fact that sexual violence against women is rooted in gender inequalities that exist worldwideand must be addressed.
One Hour in Paris is essential reading for survivors of sexual violence as well as an invaluable resource for therapists, mental health professionals, and family members and friends of victims.
“Karyn L. Freedman's terrifying and shattering story, One Hour in Paris, reveals the devastating truth about rape—that it is not confined to one terrible moment, but it determines and shapes a lifetime. If you want to understand why we need to do everything in our power to end rape, read this book.”
“In telling her story, Freedman challenges the notion that rape is solely about power, asserting that, to the survivor of the crime, rape is all about sex and can lead to lifelong sexual inhibitions. . . .Freedman contends that rape is rooted in gender discrimination and the oppression of women worldwide, that structural inequalities will persist until addressed. The frank discussion in this book is valuable for those interested in social justice as well as to survivors, their loved ones, and mental health professionals.”
“One Hour in Paris is a brave book, and an important one. Putting one rapist in jail, Freedman says, no more solves the huge societal problem of sexual violence than feeding one hungry person solves poverty. But coming out of the closet about rape, whether youre a victim, a near-victim or a loved one, can be the first step toward real change.”
“In her brave and compelling memoir . . . [Freedman] uses her keen intellect and in-depth knowledge of trauma to unravel the complexity of rape, and to make sense of the imprint it has made on her life, and on the lives of so many others.”
“A story of the audacity of courage in the face of trauma, a brave and moving book that deserves to be read by audiences at large.”
“Freedman’s forthright, deep analysis of her path to recovery after her harrowing rape at age 22. Vital reading for addressing the aftermath of sexual violence and challenging rape culture.”
In her powerful memoir, philosopher and rape survivor Karyn Freedman travels back to one night in Paris in 1990, when she was 22 and when, in one violent hour, her life was changed forever. Freedman takes the reader with her on a harrowing yet inspirational journey through trauma and recovery – from a courtroom in Paris and a trauma resource center in Toronto to working with young women at a rape clinic in Africa. At once deeply intimate and bracingly universal, A Paris Night weaves together Freedman’s personal experience with her philosophical insights and her wide-ranging efforts to understand what it means to live in a body that has been traumatized. Drawing on recent theories of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and neuroplasticity, Karyn shows how recovery from traumatic experiences is possible. A Paris Night is written for survivors of sexual violence as well as for anyone who has lived through a traumatic experience, or knows someone who has. It is sure to become an invaluable resource for family members, educators and mental health professionals.
About the Author
Nancy Venable Raine is a poet and writer whose work has appeared in many national publications. She and her husband live on a farm in Virginia.
Table of Contents
Prologue1. Paris, August 1, 19902. What Happened Next3. Live in It4. Africa, 20085. Paris, RevisitedAcknowledgmentsFurther Reading