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Violence and the Remaking of a Self
Susan J. Brison

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"How do you cope with the catastrophic calamity of sexual assault and near murder if you are a philosopher dedicated to rational discourse? Those are the questions posed by [author] Brison in a poignant account. . . . A moving diary of personal trauma and recovery."--Kurkus Reviews

"I think this is a great book--I use those words sparingly--deeply revealing and fundamentally pessimistic. It is more painful and far less sentimental than Anne Frank's diary."--Jonathan Mirsky, The Spectator


"Susan Brison's Aftermath is a moving personal narrative of a harrowing experience. It is at the same time a thought-provoking philosophical reflection of broad interdisciplinary interest, particularly for the study of trauma and narrative. In both respects, it helps the reader to understand with greater insight and compassion the uneven, arduous movement from victim to survivor and agent in the aftermath of traumatic violence."--Dominick LaCapra, Cornell University, author of Writing History, Writing Trauma and History and Memory after Auschwitz

"In Aftermath, Susan Brison dares to cross personal experience with philosophy, proving her point that the only real way to make sense of trauma is to pay attention to, and respect, actual trauma experienced by actual people. This book is an act of personal and intellectual courage, allowing reason, at last, to triumph over tradition."--Helen Benedict, author of Virgin or Vamp: How the Press Covers Sex Crimes and Recovery: How to Survive Sexual Assault

"In this wonderfully illuminating book, Susan Brison demonstrates that, in the right hands, the personal is . . . philosophical. Brison's narrative art shows how violence can damage a self and reveals much about the social goods required for moral personhood."--Jonathan Shay, M.D., Ph.D., author of Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character and Odysseus in America

"By facing what follows from traumatic abuse without blinking, by refusing to forget that the world can never be as it was, Susan Brison's shatteringly insightful Aftermath reconstructs philosophy as she reinvents survival."--Catharine MacKinnon, University of Michigan and the University of Chicago

"This book is well written, widely accessible, and vastly important for many, many people in and outside philosophy. It is also a book that will contribute to a much-needed transformation of philosophy itself. The author's narrative is gripping, admirably direct, concise, and never self-indulgent. As tricky as it is to take yourself as a 'cas'' to probe the notion of self in philosophy, the author's success in doing so is total. The outcome is a unique and founding work that deserves to be made available quickly and put at the disposal of a very large public."--Mieke Bal, University of Amsterdam

"Aftermath gave me hours of good reading and thinking. Clearly and beautifully written, it crosses disciplinary boundaries and will make an important contribution to feminist thinking, moral philosophy, and the literature on trauma. Any serious reader could be moved and provoked by it."--Sara Ruddick, author of Maternal Thinking: Toward a Politics of Peace

"A triumph of beauty and understanding in the face of unspeakable horror."--Andrea Ashworth, author of Once in a House on Fire

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File created: 4/21/2017

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