Rape New Yorkby Jana Leo
In the gripping first pages of this true story, Jana Leo relives the moment-by-moment experience of a home invasion and rape in her own apartment in Harlem. After she reports the crime, she waits. Between police disinterest and squabbles from the health insurance company over who’s going to pay for the rape kit, she realizes that the violence of such an
In the gripping first pages of this true story, Jana Leo relives the moment-by-moment experience of a home invasion and rape in her own apartment in Harlem. After she reports the crime, she waits. Between police disinterest and squabbles from the health insurance company over who’s going to pay for the rape kit, she realizes that the violence of such an experience does not stop with the crime. Increasingly concerned that the rapist will return, she seeks help from her landlord, who refuses to address security issues on the property. She comes to understand that it is precisely these conditions of newly gentrified lower-income areas which lead to vulnerable living spaces, high turnover rates, and ultimately higher profits for slumlords. In this most singular memoir, Leo weaves a psychological journey into an analysis that becomes equally personal: the fault lines of property mismanagement, class vulnerabilities, and a deeply flawed criminal justice system. In a stunning conclusion, Leo has her day in court.
"At times recalling Joan Didion's Sentimental Journeys, Leo's book is an intensely vulnerable and honest attempt to correct many of the false perceptions associated with rape. " Publishers Weekly
"With writing that is both contained and effusive, Leo seamlessly transitions between a visceral, experiential understanding of rape to the probing intellectual analysis of an academic. . . . It is the juxtaposition of the personal and the politicaland the notion that they are really one and the samethat gives Leo’s story incredible impact. . . . Ultimately, she forces readers to confront uncomfortable truths, and recognize their own complicity. Though traumatic, we still can’t look away." Bookslut
"Jana Leo’s Rape New York refractures and reconstructs the story of her rape and its aftermath; in re-presenting the constellation of events that lead to and from that attack, Leo represents life in all its random brutality and orchestrated dignity in other words, the best that can be said about this book is that it is true, which is the only real measure of real art, and honest existence." Vanessa Place, author of The Guilt Project
"Your front door lock is broken and your landlord doesn't give a damn. Jana Leo's exploration of the public and private spaces in Rape New York effectively merges the vulnerability of the city with that of the body itself. A powerful and engrossing work." Arthur Nersesian, author of The Fuck-Up
“In this harrowing and exhilarating narrative, Jana Leo blasts open all the comforting fictions that we take for truths. Raped in Harlem, she turns the tables on New York and instructs her own case, drawing in landlords, police, lawyers, therapiststhe entire environment which conspires to normalize complex and singular experiences. A real eye-opener.” Sylvère Lotringer, publisher of Semiotext(e)
"Absorbing, tender, insightful, terrifying, this book will change the way you think. In an extraordinary eloquent refusal of the line between the personal and the public, it takes us from the slow-motion details of a traumatic violation to a multidimensional reflection on the institutions and spaces of contemporary life. Memoir becomes urban manifesto." Beatriz Colomina, Professor of Architecture and Founding Director of the Program in Media and Modernity at Princeton University
"So much more than an extraordinary memoir, Rape New York is crucial analysis, screed, and feminist theory. Jana Leo's story will impact every cell in your body." Jennifer Baumgardner, author of Manifesta
- Feminist Press at CUNY, The
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.40(d)
Meet the Author
Jana Leo taught at Cooper Union for seven years, and now divides her time between Madrid and New York. In 2007, she founded Civic Gaps, a New York think tank dedicated to studying empty or neglected spaces in the city. With support from the Ministry of Culture, she also founded the MOSIS Foundation, an urban planning think tank in Madrid that builds and tests models which strive to connect people and places through art. Leo earned a MA in architecture from Princeton and a PhD in philosophy and art from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid. Rape New York is her first book in English.
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Rape New York is an absolutely essential book that tells not just the story of Jana Leo's rape in her Harlem apartment and the legal aftermath - it is the story of the how the city fails to protect women, and how violent crime is perpetuated by negligence. Leo's writing is brave with emotional honesty, and her insights and analyses are revelatory. At times painful and scary to read, this is an important work with the potential to create positive change.