I Will Find You

I Will Find You

A Reporter Investigates the Life of the Man Who Raped Her

Book - 2016
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"This is it. My rape. I knew it was coming. Every woman knows. And now here it is. My turn."

When Joanna Connors was thirty years old on assignment for the Cleveland Plain Dealer to review a play at a college theater, she was held at knife point and raped by a stranger who had grown up five miles away from her. Once her assailant was caught and sentenced, Joanna never spoke of the trauma again, until 21 years later when her daughter was about to go to college. She resolved then to tell her children about her own rape so they could learn and protect themselves, and she began to realize that the man who assaulted her was one of the formative people in her life.

Setting out to uncover the story of her attacker, Connors embarked on a journey to find out who he was, where he came from, who his friends were and what his life was like. What she discovers stretches beyond one violent man's story and back into her own, interweaving a narrative about strength and survival with one about rape culture and violence in America.

I Will Find You is a brave, timely consideration of race, class, education and the families that shape who we become, by a reporter and a survivor.
Publisher: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, ©2016.
ISBN: 9780802122605
Characteristics: 256 pages ;,22 cm.


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ArapahoeKati Oct 23, 2017

Heartbreaking, absorbing and hopeful. One of the best memoirs I've read this year. Sometimes it's difficult to read because of its rawness but that's what also makes it so compelling, especially because the author tracks down her rapist's family.

Aug 11, 2017

Fascinating and absorbing story. Only an excellent journalist could track down her rapist years later and report so objectively on his story, as well as hers. A good read.

May 10, 2017

Joanna Connors account of her sexual assault and the assailant
Is such a compelling read,
She writes with an intelligent and conversational voice.
Her journalistic skills give the narrative a polished and unique finish.
'Luckier' than many victims, her assailant is not only caught but convicted.
But It does not lessen her trauma. In probing her rapists's past she presents a
Disturbing picture of how he was 'constructed' for his later role much earlier by
Violent adults .
The sidebar story of her rapist's female relatives is an important one.
These impoverished ,neglected women were assaulted from childhood and either ignored or
Mistreated .
These women never had the advocacy, the education or family support that their more educated and articulate 'sisters' had. ( read Random Family)
Connors , along with Karyn Freedman ( One hour in Paris) and Jennifer Thomson-Cannino
(Picking Cotton) are determined women with strong family support who write with piercing honesty about a crime that is still not properly acknowledged today.

Jun 25, 2016

I winced a lot as I read "I Will Find You," but I am glad I read it and I'm very glad Joanna Connors was brave enough to write it. A narrative by turns wry and gut wrenching, "I Will Find You" brings a unique and important perspective to the genre I've come to think of as Survivor Lit.
Working in the 1980s as a reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Connors was barely into her twenties when she was brutally raped by a stranger in what turned out to be an empty theatre where she had gone to do an interview. She immediately reported it, and her attacker, a black man even younger than she named David Francis, was caught (the next day, returning to the scene of his crime), arrested, tried and convicted. Eventually Connors returned to work, had two children with her husband, and got on with her life--or so she thought. Not wanting to be seen as a victim she kept insisting to everyone (including a parade of therapists) that she had "gotten over it" and was "fine."
She hadn't; she wasn't. Joanna Connors spent decades in a state of near-paralyzing fear and secret shame before finally deciding she needed to know who her attacker was and what compelled him to do what he did.
She turned her pursuit into a story for the newspaper and what she discovers as she tracks down Francis's surviving family members is a tangled, tragic intersection of societal racism, family dysfunction, child abuse, and drug addiction all combining to create a monster who, Connor realizes, was ultimately also a victim.
Her final thoughts are haunting, heartbreaking.

CMLReads_Chrissie Apr 21, 2016

Hard to read, but I couldn't stop. Connors tries to figure out where her rapist's life went wrong, and comes up with too many answers.

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