Posts Tagged Jana Leo

Rape New York: book review

Rape New York , by Jana Leo. Publisher: The Feminist Press at CUNY (February 8, 2011). Politics/crime. Paperback, 192 pages.

The sanctity of the home and the body, and the fear of the ultimate invasion of privacy, is perverted by society distancing itself from the victim.

Author Jana Leo describes the harrowing experience of being raped at gunpoint in her own Harlem apartment and its aftermath. The front door never locked. Cheap rent and diversity attracted the Princeton graduate student to the neighborhood. She makes a compelling argument about the concept of home and its connection to everything. If you don’t have one, you feel isolated and failing. If you have one you become a prisoner within its walls as you do all you can to keep it. One in 10 women is raped during her lifetime. She proves she’s not a case number, not a cold case, not merely a statistic. Leo shines a spotlight on this country’s flawed criminal justice system and on people taking shortcuts to make money. Many years after the crime, police identify her rapist through DNA. Through her sharp and evocative feminist perspective, she analyzes the crime, poverty, class structure, gender, race, her corrupt landlord. Leo intersperses startling data with her recollection of this trauma that has changed her forever. Rape New York is at times frightening, maddening, discouraging and ultimately honest, important and useful.

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