The time to speak up is past. Now it is time for all of us to shout together, support victims and eliminate rape culture. Discussions of sexual violence should be deeply grounded in intersectionality. We must care for victims and survivors from all ethnic and religious backgrounds, gender identities and sexual orientations. These books offer a window into that broader understanding.
“The Round House,” by Louise Erdrich (Harper)
Erdrich’s 2012 novel explores the complicated search for justice and the roots of violence after a sexual assault on a reservation in North Dakota. This powerful National Book Award winner will linger in your heart.
“Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture,” edited by Roxane Gay (Harper)
These devastating personal essays from survivors of sexual violence cover a range of topics connected to rape culture. The result is both eye-opening and insightful.
“The Way I Used to Be,” by Amber Smith (Margaret K. McElderry Books)
This young adult novel is an unflinching look at the struggles of a rape victim to process her trauma and find the strength to rebuild her life.
“Queering Sexual Violence: Radical Voices from Within the Anti-Violence Movement,” edited by Jennifer Patterson (Riverdale Avenue Books)
This is an important collection that expands traditional conversations about sexual violence to include victims and survivors who are queer, transgender and gender nonconforming.
“Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town,” by Jon Krakauer (Doubleday)
Krakauer takes a deep dive into the culture of sexual violence that permeates college campuses and the daunting challenges faced by victims who seek justice.
Laurie Halse Anderson is the author of numerous works of fiction, including “Wintergirls,” “The Impossible Knife of Memory” and “Chains.” The 20th anniversary edition of her book “Speak” publishes Jan. 15. At 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 18 Laurie Halse Anderson will be in conversation with National Book Award-winner Elizabeth Acevedo at East City Bookshop, 700 Pennsylvania Ave., SE.