Sexual Abuse in Fiction

I feel so angry. I don’t know what to do with the anger or which direction to aim it at. I am drenched in disgust. I can’t watch a Hollywood movie without thinking: “I wonder who got raped so that this movie could get made?” Despite all the serious allegations, not a single person went to jail. I shake my head in disbelief.

In the future Hollywood movies will feature this end credit.

Since I have turned away from Hollywood, I find myself turning towards literature. Here a list of fantastic novels that deal with sexual violence or sexual harassment that might help to shed a light on the situation.

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

I was reluctant to read this novel for a long time due to it’s difficult subject matter. When I finally did, I was amazed at what a fantastic book it is. The story deals with a middle aged man who is obsessed with a teenager. I found it interesting how whenever the protagonist meets a grownup woman, he describes how repulsive and disgusting she seems to him. This novel highlights a disturbing trend in our culture where females are only interesting when they are na├»ve and vulnerable. The minute a woman comes into her own, matures and becomes powerful she is immediately disregarded. Enough with pathetic men who are invested in women being weak.









Martin John by Anakana Schofield

When I read the Louis C.K.story, I immediately thought of this novel. It tells the story of a public masturbator and the warped reality that lives in his head. The style of the novel is unique. Dark and twisted, the story reveals reality from a perspective that is completely different than my own.







Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

It tells the story of a young woman that is raped. This effects her life for many years afterwards in ways that are surprising. Even when the rapist repents and tries to make things right, his efforts are laughably inadequate.










We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates

It tells the story of a whole family that is affected by the rape of one of it’s own. I appreciated the nuanced family dynamics in the this novel. The down to earth description of the relationships between parents and children, siblings amongst each other brings them alive. By the end of this novel I felt that I knew every single member of the Mulvaney family. Prepare your tissue papers, you will cry while reading this book. Things get heart wrenching.









What do you thing? Is there a book you recommend I add to this list? Let me know in the comment section.

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