Personal stories of surviving after the trauma of sexual assault.
In the era of #MeToo, we’ve become better at talking about sexual assault. But sexual assault isn’t limited to a single, terrible moment of violence: it stays with survivors, following them wherever they go.
Through the voices of twelve diverse writers, Whatever Gets You Through offers a powerful look at the narrative of sexual assault not covered by the headlines—the weeks, months, and years of survival and adaptation that people live through in its aftermath. With a foreword by Jessica Valenti, an extensive introduction by editors Stacey May Fowles and Jen Sookfong Lee, and contributions from acclaimed literary voices such as Alicia Elliott, Elisabeth de Mariaffi, Heather O’Neill, and Juliane Okot Bitek, the collection explores some of the many different forms that survival can take.
From ice hockey to kink, boxing to tapestry-making, these striking personal essays address experiences as varied as the writers who have lived them. With candor and insight, each writer shares their own unique account of enduring: the everyday emotional pain and trauma, but also the incredible resilience and strength that can emerge in the aftermath of sexual assault.
Juliane Okot Bitek
Elisabeth de Mariaffi
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
Kai Cheng Thom
About the Editors:
Stacey May Fowles is an award-winning novelist, journalist, and essayist. She is the author of three novels and a work of nonfiction, and has edited two previous anthologies. Her bylines include the National Post, the Globe and Mail, Elle Canada, Maisonneuve, VICE, Jezebel, and many others.
Jen Sookfong Lee’s books include The Conjoined, nominated for the International Dublin Literary Award and a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, The Better Mother, The End of East, and Gentlemen of the Shade. Based in Vancouver, BC, she teaches writing at The Writers’ Studio Online with Simon Fraser University.
Jessica Valenti, called one of the Top 100 Inspiring Women by the Guardian, is a columnist for the Guardian US and a feminist author. Her most recent book, Sex Object: A Memoir, was a New York Times bestseller.