Virtual Event: Michelle Bowdler

presenting

Is Rape a Crime?
A Memoir, an Investigation, and a Manifesto

in conversation with ALEX MARZANO-LESNEVICH

Date

Jul
28
Tuesday
July 28, 2020
7:00 PM

Location

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.

Tickets

Free - $3 contribution suggested at registration

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes Pushcart Prize–nominated essayist and public health advocate MICHELLE BOWDLER for a discussion of her book Is Rape a Crime? A Memoir, an Investigation, and a Manifesto. She will be joined in conversation by ALEX MARZANO-LESNEVICH, author of the acclaimed book The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir.

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About Is Rape a Crime?

The crime of rape sizzles like a lightning strike. It pounces, flattens, destroys. A person stands whole, and in a moment of unexpected violence, that life, that body is gone.

Award-winning writer and public health executive Michelle Bowdler's memoir indicts how sexual violence has been addressed for decades in our society, asking whether rape is a crime given that it is the least reported major felony, least successfully prosecuted, and fewer than 3% of reported rapes result in conviction. Cases are closed before they are investigated and DNA evidence sits for years untested and disregarded

Rape in this country is not treated as a crime of brutal violence but as a parlor game of he said / she said. It might be laughable if it didn’t work so much of the time.

Given all this, it seems fair to ask whether rape is actually a crime.

In 1984, the Boston Sexual Assault Unit was formed as a result of a series of break-ins and rapes that terrorized the city, of which Michelle’s own horrific rape was the last. Twenty years later, after a career of working with victims like herself, Michelle decides to find out what happened to her case and why she never heard from the police again after one brief interview.

Is Rape a Crime? is an expert blend of memoir and cultural investigation, and Michelle's story is a rallying cry to reclaim our power and right our world.

Praise for Is Rape a Crime?

"I promise you, this is the most important book you will read this year. With searing clarity and unflinching honesty, Bowdler’s account of her rape and law enforcement’s repeated failure to investigate it, will enrage you, shock you, inspire you, and ultimately change you forever. Bowdler is fighting for all of us, recovering all our stories—this is indeed our manifesto." —Alison Smith, author of Name All the Animals

"A devastating, necessary, and compelling account of one woman's experience combined with astute analysis of our country's troubling relationship to sexual violence. Bowdler's book should be required reading for all who live here." —Melissa Febos, author of Whip Smart and Abandon Me

"Michelle Bowdler’s memoir is a powerful testimony and eloquent plea to rethink how rape is handled in America and around the world. Bowdler's writing is beautiful, compelling, and urgent. This book is a knockout." —Alysia Abbott, author of Fairyland

Alex Marzano-Lesnevich
Alex Marzano-Lesnevich

Alex Marzano-Lesnevich

A 2014 National Endowment for the Arts fellow, Alex Marzano-Lesnevich has received a Rona Jaffe Award and has twice been a fellow at both MacDowell and Yaddo. Their essays appear in the New York Times, Oxford American, and the anthologies TRUE CRIME and WAVEFORM: Twenty-first Century Essays by Women, as well as many other publications. They received their JD from Harvard, their MFA at Emerson College, and their BA from Columbia University. They are now an assistant professor at Bowdoin College and live in Portland, Maine, with an enormous puppy.

Photo credit: Beowulf Sheehan

Michelle Bowdler
Michelle Bowdler

Michelle Bowdler

Michelle Bowdler is the Executive Director of Health & Wellness at Tufts University and, after graduating from the Harvard School of Public Health, has worked on social justice issues related to rape for over a decade. She is a recipient of a 2017 Barbara Deming Memorial Award and has been a Fellow at Ragdale and the MacDowell Colony. Michelle’s writing has been published in the New York Times and her essays “Eventually You Tell Your Kids” and “Babelogue” were nominated for Pushcart Prizes.

Photo Credit: Alonso Nichols

 

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Event Series: Virtual Event Series

Harvard Book Store’s award-winning event series continues online! Named "Best of Boston: 2020 Best Virtual Author Series" by Boston magazine.

General Info
(617) 661-1515
info@harvard.com

Media Inquiries
mediainquiries@harvard.com

Accessibility Inquiries
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