Narrative, Violence against women, Therapeutic Rhetoric, Victim, Survivor, Reader Response
This essay explores reader reviews of Alice Sebold’s memoir, Lucky, which describes her rape in college while simultaneously employing and confronting dominant rape scripts. Even so, reviews of the memoir on Amazon.com employ a therapeutic interpretation of the story that emphasizes Sebold’s ability to survive, seek justice, and recover. I argue that readers’ reliance on therapeutic rhetoric reinforces the myth that rape is a problem for individual women, rather than society as a whole, and reflects an ongoing barrier to the success of feminist anti-rape efforts.
Women & Language
Stone Watt, S. E. (2014). Seeking survival, justice, and recovery: Citizen critics’ therapeutic interpretations of Alice Sebold’s Lucky. Women & Language, 37(1), 63–86.