Dancing With the Octopus: The Telling of A True Crime

Debora Harding


Jo says: 

This clever and compelling memoir is a radical work of unravelling childhood trauma and its long repercussions that can stretch out into adulthood. Debora is kidnapped and held at knifepoint age 14 but over time realises that there was another, more constant kind of violence that punctured her childhood. Presented in short chapters this is a clear-eyed, shrewdly funny and psychologically astute examination of the ripple effect of violence across generations and communities, how victims become victimizers and the hard reckoning to acknowledge its lasting emotional impact on individuals. This book is also testament to the author’s resilience, her belief in love and the incredible power of therapeutic work. Thank you to Lemn Sissay for this amazing recommendation

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SKU: 9781788165167 Category: Tags: , ,


‘Extraordinary’ Kate Mosse

‘Electric’ Lemn Sissay

‘Searing’ Julia Samuel

One Omaha winter day in 1978, when Debora Harding was just fourteen, she was abducted at knife-point, thrown into a van, assaulted, held for ransom, and left to die.But what if this wasn’t the most traumatic, defining event in her childhood?Undertaking a radical project, Debora Harding dexterously shifts between the past and present to unravel her story. From the immediate aftermath to the possibility of restorative justice twenty years later, Dancing with the Octopus lays bare the social and political forces that act upon us after the experience of serious crime. A vivid, sly and intimate portrait of one family’s disintegration, this is a darkly humorous and ground-breaking narrative of reckoning and recovery.

Additional information

Weight 0.526 kg
Dimensions 22.2 × 14.4 × 3.4 cm