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victim and its beUef that she cannot be the same person she was before the rape. PoUce in charge of Alice's case react incredulously to her announcement that she was a virgin before being raped. Her father struggles to understand howshecould have let the man rape her after he dropped his knife. Boys at Syracuse warn each other at parties that, "FYI, that girl's been raped." Rather than minimize these and other more expUcit details or gush about her recovery, Sebold balances the harsh reactions of society and her own responses. She communicates her ordeals without letting loose the flood of emotions you sense are buUding up behind the words. For example, she relates the rape trial meticulously, saving her particular feelings for more typical experiences now tainted by rape—college, friends, drugs, sex, protective parents, etc. Through it all Sebold conveys her beUef in her own blessedness, her luck at not only living through it but Uving to teU about it. The plot of Lucky is a frightening page-turner as much as it is a memoir , for Sebold's journey, her reconciliation of "heU and hope," wiU keep you up at night. At times brave, funny, and goofy tike any college student , Sebold at age nineteen experiences emotions and events seemingly too difficult for anyone to handle— fingering the wrong guy in the poüce lineup or sharing a vivid poem about her rape with her poetry workshop— yet she copes, with a combination of grit and vulnerabiüty that brings her story closer to home for readers. She could be your best friend, your girlfriend , your daughter—she could be you at the same time that she is most decidedly AUce. The struggle in Lucky begins on page one, with Uteral blows between the author and her attacker, but throughout the account Sebold refuses to let up. BrutaUy initiated into the world of force, she turns the tables on her attacker and forces his conviction. Her story is reaUy about the strength of a voice and the power of words. Words convict her assaUant, teU her story, reUeve her of lingering trauma and wake us up to our own. (CH) Where Dead Voices Gather by Nick Tosches Little, Brown, 2001, 330 pp., $14.95 (paper) Recently released in paperback, Nick Tosches's Where Dead Voices Gather might be the most beguiling, frustrating book of the past few years, but one perhaps worth a glance at this reduced paperback price. Tosches's research into the facts behind the almost mythological musical character and legacy of Emmett Miller, the white singer who performed in blackface with a "trick voice" in the '20s and '30s, is truly astounding—obsessive even—incorporating obscure newspaper reports, revue show reviews and personal accounts from the men and women who either knew MiUer or at least knew ofhim. A uniquely American artist, MUler canbe heard today on the Columbia/ Legacy compact disc, The Minstrel Man from Georgia, an odd, sometimes quaint, sometimes utterly perplexing document from a musical genre that was quite nearly obsolete 198 · The Missouri Review even as MiUer was having his greatest success. Tosches, a generaUy admirable biographer who has previously covered subjects as wide-ranging as Dean Martin, Sonny Liston and Jerry Lee Lewis, has by his own admission spent years ruminating on MiUer's strange, singular art, to the point of being almost haunted by it. Unfortunately, in this book Tosches tends to favor gimmickry in his writing , and so we have endless sentences complete with seti-laudatory, juventie declarations like, "and that's a fack Jack," ancient symbols reproduced up and down the pages among the verbiage, and even one instance where Tosches stops his narrative to say just how brilliant his preceding paragraph was. Still, skimming through Where Dead Voices Gather, one does start to get curious and want to experience MUler's music. It's a muted triumph for a book this ambitious, but a triumph nonetheless . (CF) The Metal Shredders by Nancy Zafris BlueHen, 2002, 320 pp., $24.95 This debut novel by the winner of the Hannery O'Connor Award for short fiction deals with the Bonner famtiy scrap metal business, in...


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