Press Reviews

Reviews

Joan Smith (author of ‚’Misogynies: Reflections on Myths and Malice‚’)

’It brings to life something that many women fear: not just becoming the victim of a sex attack but the endless frustration of trying to ensure that the perpetrator is brought to justice. There is a crisis about sexual violence in this country, with most rapists fully aware of how unlikely they are to be convicted. Words Can Describe is vivid, frank and courageous, and I’m sure many women will be grateful to Abi Grant for telling the truth at, I imagine, some cost to herself.’

William Leith in the London Evening Standard

‘When something terrible happens, says Abi Grant, people say ‘Words cannot describe how I feel’. Well something terrible happened to Grant. A serial rapist broke into her flat and attacked her. Here, she describes, with admirable clarity, how it makes her feel. She tells us about the stages of suffering‚ the assault, the aftermath, the investigation, the telling of other people. She shows how one event casts a shadow over many years. She demonstrates the descriptive power of words.’

Rachel Cooke in The Observer

‘The author herself is resolutely anti-miserable, always cracking jokes. Her account of the attack is unblinking, matter of fact and occasionally sardonic. ’It was when he started strangling me that I realised it wasn’t a social call‚’ she tells a police officer who interviews her afterwards. She has stern things to say about rape conviction rates, pathetically low in this country, and about police procedure and the judicial system. Describing her recovery, she manages to convey the loneliness of it without even so much as a hint of self-pity.’

Julian Clary

‘It is unusual to be charmed and horrified by alternate sentences, but this is Abi Grant’s gift as a writer…I cried, I laughed and then I cheered.’

Alexandra Blair in The Times

‘The book is an eloquent appeal, to men and women, to change their thinking about rape and sexual assault.’

Andrea Butcher in the Socialist Review

‘What was surprising and a bit unexpected was the way in which things that are often demonised in the press were shown as fundamental to her recovery. Rarely have I come across a depiction of someone living in a one-bed council flat on incapacity benefit shown in such a positive, life-affirming light.’

James Mitchell in Tonight Entertainment Guide, South Africa

‘Grant’s voice is angry. She squashes myths. Compelling.’

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