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The Incest Diary

By: Anonymous
Narrated by: Barbara Rosenblat
Length: 3 hrs and 18 mins
4 out of 5 stars (51 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"In the fairy tales about father-daughter incest - 'The Girl Without Hands', 'Thousand Furs', the original 'Cinderella', 'Donkey Skin', and the stories of Saint Dymphna, patron saint of incest survivors - the daughters are all as you would expect them to be: horrified by their father's sexual advances. They do everything in their power to escape. But I didn't. A child can't escape. And later, when I could, it was too late."

Throughout her childhood and adolescence, the anonymous author of The Incest Diary was raped by her father. Beneath a veneer of normal family life, she grew up in and around this all-encompassing secret. Her sexual relationship with her father lasted, off and on, into her 20s. It formed her world, and it formed her deepest fears and desires. Even after she broke away - even as she grew into an independent and adventurous young woman - she continued to seek out new versions of the violence, submission, and secrecy she had struggled to leave behind.

In this graphic and harrowing memoir, the author revisits her early traumas and their aftermath - not from a clinical distance but from deep within - to explore the ways in which her father's abuse shaped her and still does. As a matter of psychic survival, she became both a sexual object and a detached observer, a dutiful daughter and the protector of a dirty secret. And then, years later, she made herself write it down.

With lyric concision, in vignettes of almost unbearable intensity, this author tells a story that is shocking but that will ring true to many other survivors of abuse. It has never been faced so directly in an audiobook.

©2017 Anonymous (P)2017 Macmillan Audio

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    5 out of 5 stars
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If I Can Bear Witness, I Must

There will be no trigger warning here, for a book called "The Incest Diary" hardly needs one. That said, I speak of this book from the perspective of one who can afford to bear witness to this woman's story. Not all of us will be able to, and that is as far as I probably need to go in the direction of a trigger warning.

When Kathryn Harrison's "The Kiss" came out, about the affair she began with her priest father when she was 20, there was much pearl-clutching over the state of the memoir: had we gone too far? (That book pales in comparison to this one, as far as transgression goes.) But Harrison and other memoirists of this skill level know there is no such thing as too far -- there is only how close you bring your reader to your experience, and how to create distance, and when exactly to do either.

I imagine a good number of people will detest this book, the relentless repetition of the violent acts performed on the author from the age of 3 on, how she coolly reports each atrocity using incendiary, revolting words. But they'd be missing the point, what is being asked of them: how else do you bring a stranger into an experience this vile, this unbearable? Or do they not deserve witnesses?

The language in this book holds your face to the horror show, will not let you look away -- and should we, if she could not?

And by holding us there, as witnesses to every shocking and unbearable thing, the book is an effective condemnation of the rapist, the pedophile. The neglectful parent. The neglectful teacher, neighbor, grandparent. It is a condemnation of victim-blaming, of complicity. It is not a happy story, not a story about overcoming, if that's what you require from memoir; but I'd argue that it is a triumph. Because she told her story at last, and masterfully, giving her control and ownership. Who am I to turn away?

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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True or not?

Powerful story. More so, if true. Either way, incest happens more than discussed. Oh yeah.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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there was no real story it was pathetic

no story just continuous recount of sex and how graphic and enjoyable it was for the person

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Trash.

I thought this book was going to be about a persons experience and recovery, basically a lot more clinical approach told by the author. This basically fetishised the experience of abuse survivors. Boooooooo.

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Engrossing

Only those who experienced the trauma, can understand the conflict & the sense of uncontrollable urges. It may sound too general of a statement, but the book resonated with me in such deepens I couldn’t have expected.
Not for the faint of hearts.

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most personal, candid account of childhood abuse

read this book, be horrified, amazed, and enlightened. what courage it must have taken this woman to tell this story.

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Rich vivid story, and one of the best narrators...

Rich, vivid story and one of the best narrators to bring us into a woman's world, from childhood to adulthood, from America to Chile, including key figures she's met and how they shaped her life. The woman is very intelligent and observant, making not only four a rich story but gives us something up observe about human behavior.

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UNLIKE ANYTHING YOU CAN IMAGINE!!!

The voice! The story! this is my new favorite book. the writing style is unlike anything i've known. I got through it in one day and never wanted it to end! this is simply DARK TWISTED AND BEAUTIFUL!!!!

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Strange Find but interesting.

disturbing yet brutally honest. performance a bit raspy but believable. went off track a bit too much to keep my attention

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I'll be listening to this one again

I truly enjoyed this story. a good insight into the dark erotic desire and passion between a father and his daughter.