Join us for the US launch of What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape, by Sohaila Abdulali. Writing from the viewpoint of a survivor, writer, daughter, mother, counselor and activist, Sohaila Abdulali looks at what we – women, men, trans people, politicians, teachers, writers, sex workers, feminists, sages, mansplainers, victims and families – think about rape. She also explores what we don’t say.
She asks pertinent questions: Is rape always a life-defining event? Does rape always symbolize something? Is rape worse than death? Is rape related to desire? Who gets raped? Is rape inevitable? Is one rape worse than the other? Who rapes? What is consent? How do you recover a sense of safety and joy? How do you raise sons? Who gets to judge?
Drawing on her own experience, her research, her work with hundreds of survivors at a rape crisis center in Boston, and three decades of grappling with the issue as a feminist intellectual and writer, Sohaila examines the contemporary discourse about rape and rape culture, questioning our assumptions and asking how we want to raise the next generation. She interviews survivors whose moving personal stories of hard-won strength, humor, and wisdom collectively tell the larger story of how societies may begin to heal. The book is not a memoir but it is a thoroughly personal take on a painful subject.
Sohaila Abdulali was born in Mumbai. She has a BA from Brandeis University in economics and sociology and an MA from Stanford University in communication. She is the author of two novels as well as children’s books and short stories. She lives in New York with her family.
Tina Rosenberg is the author of Children of Cain: Violence and the Violent in Latin America, and The Haunted Land: Facing Europe’s Ghosts After Communism, which won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. She was the first freelance journalist to receive a MacArthur Fellowship.