If you grew up female, you have learned 100 little tricks of self-preservation. Regardless of class, education or race, you can rattle off ways to avoid danger with ease.
Jeannie Vanasco’s second memoir “Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl” is as vulnerable as a memoir gets. Though the subject matter is upsetting, Vanasco’s story addresses the experience of sexual assault that research has found to be most common. Vanasco’s memoir addresses the mental and emotional effects sexual assault can play and acknowledges that often victims are assaulted by people they know, people they consider friends.
Writing about one’s sexual assault is a harrowing undertaking under any circumstance and Vanasco stretches further emotionally in the name of accuracy. This book includes more than the author’s memories. It addresses the culture that allows them to ask a former friend and sexual abuser for his perspective on the event. How he felt it came to pass and how it altered him as he moved on with his life. In the book Vanasco frets over the choice to include his voice, however, having it creates an entry point for men growing up today.
“Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl” is aptly named for those who have been hurt and those who have done regrettable things to hopefully break the cycle.
Vanasco’s book was released Oct. 1.