Lacy Crawford on Discovering the Language of Assault
In Conversation with Maris Kreizman on The Maris Review Podcast
On finding the language of assault:
Lacy Crawford: It was almost like a logic puzzle that I couldn’t match up. No, I didn’t have the term “sexual assault,” I didn’t have the term “forced penetration,” I didn’t have the terms “consent” or “statutory.” None of that was in my vocabulary. I’m not sure I knew how to describe to myself the experience I was having, and because of that it seemed not to matter. Except that it was all that mattered… So for me, trying to find a way to write about it was a way first and foremost to be able to hold it in my hands and look at this thing, and thereafter could I find the words to allow other people to understand what it feels like for so many of us.
On being able to write her own story:
Lacy Crawford: I was able to write the assault, which is how I open the book—I write it cleanly and in the third person—I needed to get that out of the way because for me that was the least interesting part of the story. It is of course what begins the story but it happens so often and there’s nothing remarkable about it. It’s very important to me that I say that there is nothing remarkable about that story that should inspire listening beyond the fact that it happens to so many of us. Once I got that down I thought, “I think I can write this.” I wrote very quickly in the space of time I had between dropping off my youngest at pre-school and picking up my youngest at preschool, which required a kind of toggling back and forth between, “Mommy loves you” to what I was writing about.
Lacy Crawford is the author of the novel Early Decision. She lives in Southern California with her family.