East City Bookshop welcomes authors Amy Berkowitz, Tender Points, and Jeannie Vanasco, Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl, for a conversation about their writing.
About Tender Points:
Tender Points is a narrative fractured by trauma. Named after the diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia, the book-length lyric essay explores sexual violence, chronic pain, and patriarchy through lived experience and pop culture. First published in 2015, this new edition includes an afterword by the author.
About Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl:
Jeannie Vanasco has had the same nightmare since she was a teenager. She startles awake, saying his name. It is always about him: one of her closest high school friends, a boy named Mark. A boy who raped her.
When her nightmares worsen, Jeannie decides—after fourteen years of silence—to reach out to Mark. He agrees to talk on the record and meet in person. "It's the least I can do," he says.
Jeannie details her friendship with Mark before and after the assault, asking the brave and urgent question: Is it possible for a good person to commit a terrible act? Jeannie interviews Mark, exploring how rape has impacted his life as well as her own. She examines the language surrounding sexual assault and pushes against its confines, contributing to and deepening the #MeToo discussion.
Exacting and courageous, Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl is part memoir, part true crime record, and part testament to the strength of female friendships—a recounting and reckoning that will inspire us to ask harder questions and interrogate our biases. Jeannie Vanasco examines and dismantles long-held myths of victimhood, discovering grace and power in this genre-bending investigation into the trauma of sexual violence.
Amy Berkowitz is the author of Tender Points, originally published by Timeless, Infinite Light in 2015 and rereleased by Nightboat Books in 2019. Other writing has appeared in publications including Bitch, McSweeney’s, and Jewish Currents. She’s the host of the Amy's Kitchen Organics reading series, the coordinator of the writing residency at Alley Cat Books, and the founder of Mondo Bummer, an experimental small press. In 2016, she co-organized Sick Fest. She lives in a rent-controlled apartment in San Francisco, where she’s writing a novel.
Jeannie Vanasco is the author of Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl (Tin House Books, 2019), which was named a New York Times Editors' Choice and a best book of the year by Kirkus, TIME, Esquire, and elsewhere. In its starred review, Kirkus called the memoir "an extraordinarily brave work of self- and cultural reflection." Vanasco is also the author of The Glass Eye (Tin House Books, 2017), which was honored as an Indie Next selection and an Indies Introduce selection by the American Booksellers Association. The New York Times Book Review described The Glass Eye as "hypnotic . . . a haunting exploration of perception, memory, and the complexities of grief." She lives in Baltimore and is an assistant professor of English at Towson University.
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