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My Dark Vanessa

Kate Elizabeth Russell



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Harper Collins
09 March 2020
Fiction & Literature; Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
An instant New York Times bestseller 'The book everyone will be talking about' Louise O'Neill 'A package of dynamite' Stephen King A Stylist Best Book of 2020 An era-defining novel about the relationship between a fifteen-year-old girl and her teacher ALL HE DID WAS FALL IN LOVE WITH ME AND THE WORLD TURNED HIM INTO A MONSTER Vanessa Wye was fifteen-years-old when she first had sex with her English teacher.

She is now thirty-two and in the storm of allegations against powerful men in 2017, the teacher, Jacob Strane, has just been accused of sexual abuse by another former student.

Vanessa is horrified by this news, because she is quite certain that the relationship she had with Strane wasn't abuse. It was love. She's sure of that.

Forced to rethink her past, to revisit everything that happened, Vanessa has to redefine the great love story of her life - her great sexual awakening - as rape. Now she must deal with the possibility that she might be a victim, and just one of many.

Nuanced, uncomfortable, bold and powerful, My Dark Vanessa goes straight to the heart of some of the most complex issues our age.
By:   Kate Elizabeth Russell
Imprint:   Harper Collins
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm,  Spine: 29mm
Weight:   470g
ISBN:   9780008342258
ISBN 10:   0008342253
Pages:   384
Publication Date:   09 March 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Kate Elizabeth Russell is originally from eastern Maine. She holds a PhD in creative writing from the University of Kansas and an MFA from Indiana University. My Dark Vanessa is her first novel.

Reviews for My Dark Vanessa

`A hard story to read and a harder one to put down ... a package of dynamite' Stephen King `Riveting and compulsive, My Dark Vanessa unsettles with every sentence. A novel that asks urgent questions and refuses easy answers' Elizabeth Day `Unsettling, compulsive and deeply thought provoking. Extremely well done' Harriet Tyce, author of Blood Orange `Gripping, dark, prescient and searing in its emotional honesty, My Dark Vanessa is a must read if the year' Sarah Pinborough, author of Behind Her Eyes and Cross Her Heart `My Dark Vanessa destroyed me. This moving, ferocious story of an all-consuming relationship between a teenager and her teacher traces not just a stolen girlhood, but the aftershocks that haunt trauma survivors years into the future. Gripping, stunningly written, and important-I've been waiting for this book' Julie Buntin, author of Marlena `My Dark Vanessa is a provocative and disturbing exploration of what happens when manipulation feels like love. It's Lolita subverted for a post #MeToo world; interrogating the myth of the teenage temptress with a razor sharp intelligence. Russell is interested in neither easy questions nor easy answers, demanding the reader unpack the intersection of power, abuse, and trauma, no matter how uncomfortable it may make us. More than anything else, Russell pushes us to reconsider everything we believe about what a perfect victim looks like. Challenging and uncompromising, My Dark Vanessa is the book everyone will be talking about in 2020' Louise O'Neill

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