Professor Maria Heyaca
Spring Semester 2013 Denial: A Memoir of Terror by Jessica Stern
In reality, Denial: A memoir is a presentation of an author who sank deep into the zeal of her post traumatic stress. The author, Stern succeeded in doing this in a literal manner. The book was first published in the year 2010 by Harper Collins Publishers. Stern’s exuberant work depicts a sensational and riveting explanation of a rape ordeal, in which her traumatic stress disorder is most evident (Stern, 2010). The cover of the book is similar to a police file contents probably to give an insight into the contents of the book. The book can be bought online for twenty dollars.
In this skilfully wrought study, stern traces an episode of terror and its ramifications in her life. She represents insatiable curiosity that unravels panoply family secrets. Her fervent love for terrorism pushed her to write this memoir. She wanted to be able to understand the mind of the man who raped her, and get closure in the process. This is evident through the layers of abuse that she encounters and her denial of self pity. This is a general biography genre told from a first person’s perspective. The author wrote the book to let other people know that it is alright to delve into painful parts of their lives. She also intended to reveal the injustice and unfairness in the correctional system.
Using informal writing, Stern explains her personal story in a coherent and forceful language. Stern’s choice of language is one of a conventional biography form. For instance; she mixes past and present tense in such a profound way that explains her journey of self-discovery (Stern, 2010). Her brutal presentation of trauma using concise words fits the message being passed to the audience. The book is arranged in chapters beginning from the time she acquired the police files on her rape case. “I asked the police for my then-twenty-year-old file, and they sent me part of it, including a barely audible audiotape. Even now, I haven’t found the courage to listen to it…” (Stern, 2010, 12). The format presents a progressive and chronological unravelling of events that make it easier to comprehend.
Personally, I think that this was the most effective way of presenting the insidious consequences of a heinous crime like rape (Dwight, 2010). The meticulous job done when telling this story makes it a story of many people. It is quite heartbreaking how even their own father ignored their plight. Along the way, she is able to interview a couple of rape survivors. The culmination of the book is even more educative with the final thoughts from the author. Through this memoir, a lot of people suffering from post-traumatic stress are expected to get the much needed relief.
The subject of post-traumatic stress disorder has obviously been given a new meaning by Stern. The subject of rape has always been about shame (Dwight, 2010). Only the few courageous victims have been able to tell the rest of the world on their suffering. Regardless of this, it is impossible for anyone else to be empathetic enough. Such a story is for the benefit of both the victims and other people. It is quite obvious that post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious and rampant consequence. People suffering from this disorder need a lot of support an encouragement.
The most powerful theme in this book is denial. The memoir is centered on a culture where denial drives the lives of everyone. The story reveals denial as a prison reverberating effects. The author tries to encourage healing by telling her own story based on denial (Dwight, 2010). The resilience of the author is a testimony that the effects of denial can be overcome. However, one has to have the passion to thrive.
One of the causes of post-traumatic stress disorder is denial. It also causes relationship problems. The only way to overcome this is to address the problem. The way Stern tells about trauma makes the