What A Body Remembers: A Memoir of Sexual Assault and Its Aftermath
Publisher: HighBridge Company
Date: June 2019
Duration: 7 hours 53 minutes
On a summer night in 1984, nineteen-year-old UC Berkeley sophomore Karen Thomas leaves her uniformed patrol job at the University of California Police Department and walks home alone in darkness. At the threshold of her apartment a man assaults her at knife point. After a soul chilling struggle she manages to escape and call 911. Police catch her assailant, she identifies him, and he is arrested.
Fast forward 2014, thirty years after her assault, when her life, once again, appears to be crumbling. As she stumbles her way through the days, navigating a dying marriage, devastating financial loss, and an elderly mother slipping into dementia at disheartening speed, she becomes fascinated by her own anxiety, by the PTSD still triggered by the sound of footsteps and she wonders, why does the body remember what the mind tries so desperately to forget? Her questions prompt an obsession with her assailant: Whatever became of him? What is he doing now? She begins a quest of excavation, determined to find out, tracking down the police report and court file from her case, and on the thirtieth anniversary of her attack returns to Berkeley and the scene of her assault. What she discovers is life altering.