Why were these books emotionally disruptive? The first, in addition to being overwrought and poorly written (my opinion) had a first person perspective of a female, Armenian sex slave, but was written by a man. Now, in my own personal world this is just a NOPE. I do not believe that any amount of research can give a man the understanding to write a first person account like this authentically. Sorry.
I may have been more lenient with this opinion if in the acknowledgements the author had mentioned all of the interviews he had conducted with persons involved in the liberation of victims of human trafficking, but he did not. He only mentioned two agencies involved in this work, one of which is not even ranked on Charity Navigator.
Now, I have rage issues with men representing sensitive issues like rape from a woman's point of view in literature, period, but particularly from a first person POV. Sorry, you don't know, you can't know. Also, maybe if the author had handled the subject more delicately and respectfully, I'd've given him more leeway, but he didn't. There is one particularly despicable line where an emotionally traumatized wife asked her husband to "fuck her silly" which made me want to vomit. And before you defend the author and a woman's right to be into sex, let me just tell you that it was completely out of character for the woman. Before my blood pressure gets any higher, I have to move on to the second book.
In the second book, which is a spoof novel filled with puns, pretty much out of nowhere, there is a joke about someone being mentally handicapped. WTF. I suppose it could be true that this book was originally written in the 1980s and only published now, but still. If this book was beta read at all, shame on those readers for not picking up on something that made me stop and say aloud, WTF. Overall this book needed a sensitivity reader, but I overlooked several bad stereotypes in the name of comedy. Making fun of a retarded person is not funny, never had been, even when it was prevalent in media. If this ridiculously offensive exchange hadn't been on the second to last page, I would've put the book down and not finished it. And now I'm going to recycle it.
I consider myself to be an overly sensitive person. I describe myself as having "pathological empathy." However, I do not feel like I am overreacting to these books. These books were published within the last two years and we've come a long way as a society with regards to putting up with insensitivity in literature. In an age of sensitivity readers, the common reader shouldn't have to be exposed to this kind of enraging garbage. Come on people, get it together.
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