Jessica Stern, author of Denial: A Memoir of Terror, on tour June/July 2010

Posted By on March 19, 2010

About Denial: A Memoir of Terror

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco (June 22, 2010)

“DENIAL is one of the most important books I have read in a decade…[a] cogent meditation on the links between sexual sadism, humiliation and political terrorism. This is a groundbreaking book, in terms of how it shows that personal experience–especially the ‘shameful’ personal experience of having been victim of a sex crime–can be used to illuminate the most urgent questions of our time…. Brave, life-changing and gripping as a thriller, DENIAL should be required reading for anyone seeking to understand terrorism and anyone who has survived a trauma of any kind–indeed, this should be read by anyone seeking to understand the nature of evil. A tour de force.”

– Naomi Wolf

I have been quiet, and I have listened all my life. But now, I will finally speak. Alone in an unlocked house in a safe neighbourhood in the suburban town of Concord, MA, two obedient, good girls, Jessica Stern, 15, and her sister, 14, were raped on the night of October 1, 1973. When they reported the crime, the police were skeptical. Their father, away on business, did not return for three more days. Following the example of her family, Stern – who lost her mother at the age of three – denied her pain and kept striving to achieve. But while her career took off, her success hinged on her symptoms. After her ordeal, she could not feel fear in normally frightening situations. Stern thought she’d disassociated from the trauma altogether, until a request took her back to that night more than 30 years earlier. The world-class social scientist and expert on terrorism and post-traumatic stress disorder began her own investigation, with the help of a devoted police lieutenant, to find the truth about her rapist, the town of Concord, her own family, and her own mind. The result is “Denial”, a candid and deeply intimate look at a life, a trauma, and its aftermath.

Photo credit: Joel Benjamin

About Jessica Stern

Jessica Stern is a Lecturer in Public Policy and a faculty affiliate of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. From 1994–95, she served as Director for Russian, Ukrainian, and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council, where she was responsible for national security policy toward Russia and the former Soviet states and for policies to reduce the threat of nuclear smuggling and terrorism. From 1998–99, she was the superterrorism Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and from 1995–96, she was a national Fellow at Hoover Institution at Stanford University. She also worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Stern received a bachelor’s degree from Barnard College in chemistry, a master of science degree from MIT, and a doctorate in public policy from Harvard. She is the author of the New York Times Notable Book Terror in the Name of God and The Ultimate Terrorists, as well as numerous articles on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Visit Jessica at her website,

Jessica Stern’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, June 14th:  Book Nook Club

Wednesday, June 16th: Take Me Away

Tuesday, June 22nd:  Electric/Eccentric

Wednesday, June 23rd:  Rundpinne

Thursday, June 24th: Heart 2 Heart

Thursday, July 1st: lit*chick

Tuesday, July 6th:  Crazy for Books

Wednesday, July 7th: Reading on a Rainy Day

Thursday, July 8th: Jenn’s Bookshelves

Monday, July 12th:  Sophisticated Dorkiness


Leave a Reply

We see and read all comments, but we don't publish them. You can get ahold of us by leaving a comment or by emailing us at and