Stories We Tell

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Molly Boyle writes about how murder ballads helped in her efforts to find the “sublimity of survival” after an attempted rape.

“The stories we tell ourselves happen often to be about dying, in the most romantic, sometimes pat, often campy and necessarily truncated ways. But these stories tie up their loose ends. There’s a beginning, a climax, and a reckoning. The victim, the villain, and the refrain refresh themselves. The song remains the same, in order for us to live.”


Lisa Dusenbery is the former managing editor of The Rumpus. More from this author →