What We’re Reading in September!


We’re thrilled to announce that our September Book Club selection is Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl by Jeannie Vanasco, forthcoming from Tin House Books on October 1, but available to Rumpus Book Club members in just a few weeks!

Jeannie Vanasco has had the same nightmare since she was a teenager. She startles awake, saying his name. It is always about him: one of her closest high school friends, a boy named Mark. A boy who raped her. When her nightmares worsen, Jeannie decides―after fourteen years of silence―to reach out to Mark. He agrees to talk on the record and meet in person. “It’s the least I can do,” he says.

Jeannie details her friendship with Mark before and after the assault, asking the brave and urgent question: Is it possible for a good person to commit a terrible act? Jeannie interviews Mark, exploring how rape has impacted his life as well as her own. She examines the language surrounding sexual assault and pushes against its confines, contributing to and deepening the #MeToo discussion.

Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl is part memoir, part true crime record, and part testament to the strength of female friendships―a recounting and reckoning that will inspire us to ask harder questions and interrogate our biases. Jeannie Vanasco examines and dismantles long-held myths of victimhood, discovering grace and power in this genre-bending investigation into the trauma of sexual violence.

“Jeannie Vanasco has written exactly the book we need right now. I wish everyone in this country would read it.” – Melissa Febos, author of Abandon Me

“In Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl, Jeannie Vanasco has done something extraordinary. She explodes rape culture at the level of language, shows us how we are trapped and how we might make ourselves free. This is a brilliant book, an astonishingly fierce inquiry into the places language won’t go.” – Emily Geminder, author of Dead Girls

Subscribe to the Rumpus Book Club by August 15 to join us in reading Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl, culminating in an exclusive online discussion with author Jeannie Vanasco about the book!

Learn more about The Rumpus Book Club here. More from this author →