No Letter in Your Pocket
Published by: Guernica Editions
Imprint: Guernica Editions
Sales Date: 2023-05-01
Published: May 2023
294 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.75 in
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Incest denial and sexual assaults disrupt a young woman’s solo spiritual quest and her two romantic adventures in India in 1990-91. Two decades later, after profound healing, she’s resilient at mid-life. Finding the love and intimacy she craves, she can, at last, forgive her dying father—and her mom, for her decades of silence. Unlike many stories of healing and spiritual discovery, No Letter in Your Pocket avoids predictable recovery rhetoric and insular victimhood. Instead, it is a testament to thriving empowerment.
Since publishing my 1987 memoir about incest, I have been asked to comment on many manuscripts on child sexual abuse. No Letter in Your Pocket is among the best of the best. Heather Conn combines depth of research with her own courageous story of father-daughter incest, including the recovery of lost memories, the confrontation of her abuser, and the healing of her own wounded self through compassion and forgiveness of others. I recommend her beautifully written memoir unreservedly, not only for other abuse victims, but also for any reader interested in a compelling story.Sylvia Fraser, author of My Father’s House
When I started reading Heather’s moving account of her journey through hell and what she learned from it, I couldn’t stop. . . The pages are filled with her pain and the courage she had to feel her experiences, change who she was, and stop leading a double life. . .We can all benefit by reading about, and learning from, her experience.Best-selling author Dr. Bernie Siegel (from the Afterword) (www.berniesiegelmd.com)
Many sexual abuse victims define themselves by the traumatic events of their childhood, and who could possibly blame them? But when the initially empowering recognition of the terrible crime committed against you near the start of your life becomes the core of your identity, the crime is perpetuated. Heather Conn refused that temptation, and she makes her long healing and resultant forgiveness of her father comprehensible in the language of skilled storytelling and soul-making. It’s an extraordinary achievement; it may even be unique in the radical form of this book, deeply connected to her contemplative practice and her journeying, both literally as a young woman travelling in India, and in these pages of powerful and lyrical coming home to herself over time.
I’ll give this book to every survivor I know who struggles to transcend such pain without the lifelong self-consumption that occurs when people who should thrive instead rest in the stranglehold of victimization. Conn is a superb writer, and No Letter in Your Pocket makes of her a healer whose medium and medicine are language.Diana Hume George, Professor Emerita, English and Women’s Studies, Penn State University
No Letter In Your Pocket is chockfull of fascinating research on the profile and psychopathology of incest perpetrators. [Conn] takes you on a troubling yet worthwhile odyssey, one passage entangles you within a net of disembodied dreams of a sexually abused five year old, and in the next you’re her travelling companion on an exotic adventure. Her prose is heart-stopping, mystical, poetic and artful ... Her book will help others to do what they find necessary to heal and gives readers a wealth of resources.Cathalynn Labonté-Smith, The Miramichi Reader
- SCWES Book Awards for BC Authors—Sunshine Coast Voices