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A woman shares her devastating experience with rape at age thirteen, chronicling such painful events as her family's reactions, her ordeal in an open courtroom, and her efforts to understand her abuser's act.
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Martha Ramsey was born in 1954 in Flemington, New Jersey, a farming community about 65 miles southwest of New York City. She had unusually creative, bohemian-minded, arts-oriented parents; her father was the pioneering jazz historian Frederic Ramsey, Jr. As a child she was precociously intelligent, socially clueless, and a bookworm. She attended high school at Solebury School in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The summer before tenth grade, in 1968, at age 13, while she was out on her own on a bike ride on back roads, she was attacked and raped by a 28-year-old man, a stranger to her. (Within his family and immediate friends, he was suspected of having molested other girls, but none of his other victims' families had come forward.)
After the rape Martha endured a confrontation with the rapist, at the police barracks, and giving testimony at the trial that resulted in his conviction and a sentence of 15 years. Five years later, on the same date as his rape of Martha, almost immediately after being paroled, the perpetrator brutally abused and murdered a 16-year-old girl in the same community; he was sentenced to life in prison for that crime.
Where I Stopped, written when Ramsey was in her thirties, tells this story in detail and follows her attempts to understand what had happened to her and how it affected her over the years as she grew into adulthood, pursued her calling as a poet, and married, and her eventual decision to go back to the place where she grew up, speak with people who remembered the crime and who participated in the trial, unearth the police and trial records, and come to terms with what she remembered.
A literary memoir first published to high critical acclaim in 1995, Where I Stopped was ahead of its time, and was the first book-length autobiography focusing on rape during adolescence. It is a classic account of sexual trauma and recovery.From Booklist:
At 13, Ramsey was independent, tough, and very smart. Almost too smart. After being raped, she knew exactly what to do and conducted herself throughout the investigation and trial with considerable aplomb. But the adults in her life, especially her parents, failed to provide any emotional or spiritual comfort, thus condemning her to the dark, lonely silence of her stoicism. This book, which gleams as brightly as a searchlight against the night sky, is Ramsey's unsparing account of coming to terms with rape, a rape that savaged her innocence, warped her sexuality, and estranged her from family, friends, true-hearted lovers, and even herself. Ramsey is a poet, and her eye and ear for details and emotional nuance are extraordinary, infusing this exacting tale with a cathartic power. She traces every stage of her emotional life and chronicles her predictably disastrous relationships with men and her quest to be somehow "unraped." She did finally meet a compassionate man, but it was the writing of this magnificently honest book, 27 years after the fact, that healed the wounds of rape, and Ramsey's story, so courageously and beautifully told, will teach and heal others. Donna Seaman
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Book Description G.P. Putnam & Sons Adult, 1996. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0399141073
Book Description G.P. Putnam & Sons Adult, 1996. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110399141073
Book Description G.P. Putnam & Sons Adult. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0399141073 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.1074529