An extraordinary, powerful and beautifully written memoir of a daughter's abuse by, and attachment to, her father.
Throughout her childhood and adolescence, the anonymous author of The Incest Diary was raped by her father. Beneath a veneer of normal family life, she grew up in and around this all-encompassing secret. Her sexual relationship with her father lasted, off and on, into her twenties. It formed her world, and it formed her deepest fears and desires. Even after she broke away - even as she grew into an independent and adventurous young woman - she continued to seek out new versions of the violence, submission and secrecy she had struggled to leave behind.
In this graphic and harrowing memoir, the author revisits her early traumas and their aftermath - not from a clinical distance, but from deep within - to explore the ways in which her father's abuse shaped her, and still does. As a matter of psychic survival, she became both a sexual object and a detached observer, a dutiful daughter and the protector of a dirty secret. And then, years later, she made herself write it down.
With lyric concision, in vignettes of almost unbearable intensity, this writer tells a story that is shocking but that will ring true to many other survivors of abuse. It has never been faced so directly on the page.
“One of the most frank and cathartic depictions of child abuse ever written” – Publishers Weekly
“Shocking and searing … This is a devastating book about harm. It's about the harm that is unleashed when one person swaps their humanity for what you can really only call evil” – Christina Patterson, Sunday Times