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Lucky: A Memoir by Alice Sebold

Lucky: A Memoir (edition 2002)

by Alice Sebold

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4,802100966 (3.77)129
Title:Lucky: A Memoir
Authors:Alice Sebold
Info:Back Bay Books (2002), Edition: 0, Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:2011, .Non-Fiction, Biography

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Lucky: A Memoir by Alice Sebold


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Alice Sebold's memoir and account of her brutal rape and beating as a college student precedes her internationally acclaimed and well-read novel The Lovely Bones. A difficult text to swallow, but an important one in its honest presentation of the harsh realities rape victims face, both those who report it and those who do not. Sebold does not mince words in her retelling of her altered relationships with friends and family and her treatment a warped court system. Her reality often seems bleak but she offers a quietly hopeful picture of life after rape. Lucky hurts, but it triumphs. ( )
  GennaC | May 9, 2017 |
Powerful survivorship story about a young girl at college who is attacked and raped by a stranger, who then bumps into him in the street six months later and prosecutes. A book that pulls no punches about the horrificness of the rape, or the horrificness of the trial, and that ends on a disturbingly ambiguous note which is either 'if you fight this, there will be retribution and revenge attacks', or 'this sort of horribleness is very common'. Or, you know, weird things happen in large enough populations and this is just hugely bad luck. The depths of anger about what happened and how much she wants to hurt her attacker are ugly and unfiltered, which is a very uncomfortable read. The whole book is an uncomfortable read, and that is how it should be. Excellent story of overcoming trauma, fighting back, and how society handles rape victims. ( )
  atreic | Apr 25, 2017 |
Lucky made me sad and happy and angry and i enjoyed reading it. It was very insightful. I think the author did a very good job of explaining why she did what she did when she was attacked and her feelings during and after. There's also more humor in it than one would expect from a memoir about rape.

*Review written on August 17, 2014.* ( )
  danaenicole | Oct 19, 2016 |
This is an older book by Sebold. I thought it was very brutal--at times, even hard to read. I have never read a book where a rape was described in such detail and to add to that, Sebold was describing her own rape, that took place while she was a college freshman at Syracuse University. It was her first sexual experience. At once, you feel so sorry for her, but then you are uplifted by the strength and determination she showed while testifying in court and bringing her rapist to justice. Like her other books, this one is a quick read, but it is so depressing. It doesn't end in a way that makes you feel good. There is no happy ending. She doesn't fall in love and live happily ever after. The reader wants her to be okay, but she never really will be. As one character states, there are just some things you don't get over. Sebold will never get over her rape, and there were a few times she thought she did in this book. But it always came back, and she drank, ate, and did drugs to cope. There is never any real closure for her, and it hurts the reader because we want her to be fixed.

Some reviewers on Amazon.com said she came off as being selfish. They were probably referring to her attempts at trying to help a friend who was also raped, cope with the trauma. But her friend chose to handle it differently. She just wanted to make it go away. She didn't want to find this guy and bring him to trial. I don't think Sebold was being selfish at all. She was trying to help in the only way she knew how, and her friendship ended with this woman because this woman couldn't be like her and having her in her life was a constant reminder of the strength she didn't have.

I didn't really like the "Aftermath" section of the book. I don't feel like Sebold put as much thought into it as the rest of the book. It should have been called "Afterthought." I imagine her editor sitting her down and saying this book doesn't really end and people will want to know what happened next. I would have never given Sebold that advice. I would have said it not necessarily on an upbeat note, but let the reader know that there is still hope and that while you suffered a trauma, there is still life after it. You can go on to other, positive experiences, but that the memory of your trauma is never as distant as you want it to be.

( )
  RojaHorchata | Jul 11, 2016 |
Tough read, about her brutal rape. Skimmed a lot because it's a tough story, but very well written. ( )
  AnnAnderson | Jun 25, 2016 |
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Voor Glen David Gold
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In the tunnel where I was raped, a tunnel that was once an underground entry to an amphitheater, a place where actors burst forth from underneath the seats of a crowd, a girl had been murdered and dismembered.
No one can pull anyone back from anywhere. You save yourself or you remain unsaved.
“Poetry is not an attitude. It is hard work.” (Quoting Tess Gallagher)
“Memory could save . . . it had power . . . it was often the only recourse of the powerless, the oppressed, or the brutalized.” (Referring to Tobias Wolff’s own story, This Boy’s Life)
“You never get over some things.”
From an interview with Alice Sebold that is published as a supplement in the back of the book:

Question: People often wonder if writing is therapeutic. If you’re writing about a trauma, does that help the pain of the trauma recede? Susie in the novel [a different book] says something like every time she tells her story, a drop of the pain goes away. But as a writer who’s written about your own trauma and then written a fictionalized version of a similar trauma, is writing therapeutic or do you think that that’s really the wrong way to approach it anyway?

Answer: My feeling is that therapy is for therapy and that writing can be therapeutic, but therapeutic writing should not be published. My job as a writer is to go through the therapy myself and, if I manage to get through it and I feel I have something to share from that, to share it with my audience or my readers. But I don’t write novels and seek to have them published so that I can get therapy from having written them. That’s really the responsibility of an individual to do outside the context of their published work.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316096199, Paperback)

In a memoir hailed for its searing candor and wit, Alice Sebold reveals how her life was utterly transformed when, as an eighteen-year-old college freshman, she was brutally raped and beaten in a park near campus. What propels this chronicle of her recovery is Sebold's indomitable spirit-as she struggles for understanding ("After telling the hard facts to anyone, from lover to friend, I have changed in their eyes"); as her dazed family and friends sometimes bungle their efforts to provide comfort and support; and as, ultimately, she triumphs, managing through grit and coincidence to help secure her attacker's arrest and conviction. In a narrative by turns disturbing, thrilling, and inspiring, Alice Sebold illuminates the experience of trauma victims even as she imparts wisdom profoundly hard-won: "You save yourself or you remain unsaved."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:31 -0400)

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In this memoir, Alice Sebold reveals how her life was transformed when at age 18 she was raped and beaten in a park near her college campus.

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