Synopses & Reviews
“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 worlds 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 Sterns 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.”
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 lectures on terrorism 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 at the National Security Council during the Clinton admin-istration. A 2009-2010 Guggenheim Fellow, she was selected by Time 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 Terrorists. She lives with her husband and son in Massachusetts.