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I Will Find You: A Reporter Investigates the Life of the Man Who Raped Her Hardcover – April 5, 2016
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
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A searing narrative that plumbs both emotional and political depths . . . Connors’s forthright exploration of race and poverty enlarges her personal story, turning it into a richer, more complex and ultimately more harrowing account of interwoven traumas . . . What’s miraculous about this memoir is Connors’s ability to identify, in clean, lucid prose, evidence of hopeand even beautyamid such an abundance of misery . . . [it is] powerful evidence of our society’s failure to address the causes and consequences of sexual violence.” New York Times Book Review
"Twenty-two years after she was raped by a stranger, Connors sets out to explore the life of her attacker. In doing so, she not only unpacks her own trauma but also confronts issues of race, class, and gender. It’s heavy stuff. But with emotional honesty and profound questioning Connors deftly turns her victimization into a considered meditation on how we treat others." Cosmopolitan
"Deeply humane and harrowing." Boston Globe
A terrific book . . . [Connors is] a beautiful writer and often manages to be wry, funny and transcendent as she deals with an immensely serious topic.” New York Times
"Readers come away with a sense that, through researching and writing I Will Find You, Connors has been able to banish some demons and start down a healthy pathone that leads to finding her own new self. Her book is a study in healing and courage and should prove to be a resource for many of those touched by these terrible crimes." Minneapolis Star Tribune
Brutally affecting . . . powerful . . . [Connors] has an everywoman quality: she could be you . . . [she] illustrates how inextricably our livesand those of our childrenare entwined with the lives of others.” Guardian
Weaving together memoir and journalism, the book offers a deeply moving, personal story while examining issues of race, class, and violence against women . . . I Will Find You is more than just Connors’s personal story. As a journalist, she manages to stay amazingly objective, even while tackling such a deeply emotional topic, resulting in a chilling, eye-opening combination of memoir and reportage . . . Connors’s honesty and openness are stunning and inspiring. Her careful and thoughtful examination of her own suffering, as well as her willingness to look deeper at the man who hurt her, make this one of the most compelling, unique books of the year.” Chicago Review of Books
"A must read for every woman who has ever been raped, who has feared being raped, or who has never even thought about being raped. And for every man who wants to understand or who cares about the women in his lifemothers, sisters, wives, or daughters. Because it is more than a story of rape. It is a story about our dividesof race, of education and opportunity, of prison, and of family." Daily Kos
"Connors unflinchingly uncovers the grim life of the man who raped her." Vanity Fair
"Raw, revelatory . . . both an unflinching portrait of trauma and an act of journalistic courage." Telegraph
Compelling . . . Through Connors’ thoughtful and intrepid search, she confronts weighty truths about race and sexual violence. She doesn’t shy away from the personal details and, in doing so, ensures the reader sees a raw and honest account of her life before, during and after the rape. Although the subject is heartbreaking, this profound work will keep readers thinking long after the book is complete.” Green Bay Press-Gazette
Filled with an unrelenting honesty about sexual violence, race in America, and the realities of incarceration and poverty . . . it is necessary reading for a culture that seems unable to talk reasonably and openly about sexual violence . . . Read this book, talk about it. You might create a public space for others to talk about what has happened to them.” Yes! Weekly
A book both brutal in its honesty and beautifully told.” New Zealand Herald
"Harrowing, tragic, and moving. Connors bravely recounts the challenges she faced." Bookish
"[A] powerful work of non-fiction, recounting a journey animated not by revenge or a quest for closure, but profound curiosity." The National Book Review, one of 5 Hot Books
"Connors' riveting, soul-searching book deserves a wide audience; it presents an unusual first-person perspective on critical issues of race, class and crime in America." Book Page
"Raw and unnerving . . . If a reader is looking for the most candid, most powerful true book about rape, let Connors' be the one." Booklist (starred review)
"Gripping . . . a powerful story of exposing and confronting emotional scars in order to move forward...Connors’s astute reflections on race, gender, and the personal plight of victimhood make this book a must-read." Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Powerful and compelling, the book is a highly personal examination of the volatile intersection of race, poverty, and violence. The author insightfully reflects on the idea that the greatest monster anyone, including victims of violent crime, must face is the monster within. A courageous and unsettlingly forthright memoir of overcoming trauma." Kirkus Reviews
'I will find you' vowed the man who raped Joanna Connors should she tell anyone. In this perturbing, irresistible memoir, Connors writes that her attacker’s threat haunted her for the next two decadesa diabolical punishment, she learned, inflicted on most rape victims. 'Why do we feel this shame?' she wondered. 'What do we do with it?' Connors answers these questions with wry eloquence and surprising compassion in this magnificent, necessary, unflinchingly honest book.” Jon Krakauer, author of Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town
"Joanna Connors' unflinching attempt to understand the circumstances behind the most brutal and humiliating moments of her life makes for a powerful and compelling read. Ultimately, Connors unravels the raw and disturbing details, not just of her attack and young man who forever changed her life, but she also gets to the heart of some unspeakable truths regarding race, incarceration, and the culture of sexual violence in modern America." Gilbert King, author of the Pulitzer prizewinning, Devil in the Grove
Is it possible to call the story of a violent rape and its haunting aftermath a thing of beauty? In the hands of Joanna Connors, this lucid, powerful memoir becomes its own form of redemption, as a seasoned reporter turns her gaze on her own life and that of her rapist's. I found this to be a profoundly moving, important and, yes, beautiful book.” Dani Shapiro, author of Still Writing
"The most important book on rape since Susan Brownmiller's Against Our Will. Honest and strong, riveting and terrifying, heartbreaking and utterly unsentimental. This book will change lives and minds." Mary Doria Russell, author of The Sparrow
"A hard-to-read book that is impossible to put down. I am in awe of Connors's courage and inspiring compassion. A testament to the power of forgiveness and a hard-earned grace." Thrity Umrigar, author of The Space Between Us
"At a time when rape culture threatens the lives of too many American women, journalist Joanna Connors’s I Will Find You is a sobering, masterful, and meticulously researched exploration of the crime but with a twist: Connors plumbs the depths of her attacker and the culture of violence that made him a rapist. In giving a voice both to her own tragedy and to her perpetrator’s, she contributes boldly to the conversation surrounding one of the country’s most pressing and little-explored social problems. Understanding radiates from every page in prose that is crisp and full of unexpected notes of grace." Beth Macy, New York Times bestselling author of Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Localand Helped Save an American Town
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This a novel, I couldn't put down! even after several days of not reading, the novel lingered in my mind. how brave a woman can be to overcome a tragedy. instead of completely ignoring what had happened. she went looking for it.
she wanted to find out , why people become the way they do. what happened to them as children, that would make them into monsters? made them doing horrible things to people.
while I don't know her on a personal level. she is one the strongest people out there. to face up to tragedy. to ask questions. to not judge someone. instead of saying, " why me?" she asked " why, them? what happened?"
I hope she continues to write!
In 1984, Joanna Connors a journalist/reporter for the largest newspaper in the state of Ohio "The Plain Dealer": was one of the 3,734 people who reported a forcible rape that year. It wasn’t until the following year the Cleveland Police Department would open an investigative unit that handled the large increase of rapes, which years later with improved DNA testing indicated the presence of serial rapists. Using court documents and official reports and records, her own journals, Connors skillfully recalled the the intensity of difficulties, complexities of coping with and surviving the aftermath following a violent crime in: “I Will Find You”.
Connors rapist was apprehended, and she was able to identify, testify in court leading to prosecution of the man responsible: David Francis. He had just been released from prison, was free on parole, he pled not guilty to charges of rape and assault claiming he was unable to have sex due to a cancer diagnosis. After receiving the maximum sentencing allowed by law, he coldly stared her down and made threatening remarks, which Connors reviewed years later while examining court transcripts.
As her children David and Zoe finished high school and prepared for college, Connors after years of therapy, wanted to share the truth of the impact of rape on various aspects of their lives, Zoe was greatly distressed, David avoided the subject. In the aftermath and the study of root causes associated with rape, Connors turned her attention to the life of David Francis. What she discovered was his terrible past, Francis chilling connection as a youth to the Lyman School for boys (est.1886-1971) which was the first reform school in the nation located in West-borough, MA. Also, the lock-up Bridgewater State Hospital for the criminally insane, both facilities admitted Albert DeSalvo (1931-1973) charged in 1967, known as the Boston Strangler.
David Francis was one of eight children born to Millie and T.C. Francis. Millie was killed in a mysterious house fire, an older brother was murdered according to his sister Charlene. The entire family was linked either to petty or serious criminal activity and/or alcohol and substance abuse, none escaping the terrible magnitude of neglect and abuse perpetrated by T.C. Francis; his children grew to both fear and hate him. When Connors shared with his siblings what their brother had done to her, they were unaware of the truths related to his crime. Additional information was revealed of his life and death from cancer while incarcerated, and further details of their own tragic torturous family history, as Connors bravely and courageously illustrated her story beginning with a protective disassociation, then years later, discovering another connection/link to emotional wellness and stability. ~ With thanks to the Seattle Public Library.