Denial (Hardcover)

A Memoir of Terror

By Jessica Stern

Ecco, 9780061626654, 320pp.

Publication Date: June 22, 2010

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (6/7/2011)

List Price: 24.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Denial is one of the most important books I have read in a decade....Brave, life-changing, and gripping as a thriller….A tour de force.”
—Naomi Wolf


One of the world’s foremost experts on terrorism and post-traumatic stress disorder, Jessica Stern has subtitled her book Denial, “A Memoir of Terror.” A brave and astonishingly frank examination of her own unsolved rape at the age of fifteen, Denial investigates how the rape and its aftermath came to shape Stern’s future and her work. The author of the New York Times Notable Book Terror in the Name of God, Jessica Stern brilliantly explores the nature of evil in an extraordinary volume that Louise Richardson, author of What Terrorists Want, calls, “Memorable, powerful and deeply courageous…a riveting read.”

About the Author

Jessica Stern is a research professor at Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies and a Fellow at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard’s School of Public Health. She served on the Clinton administration’s National Security Council Staff. She is the author of Denial: A Memoir of Terror; Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year); and The Ultimate Terrorists. 

Praise For Denial: A Memoir of Terror

“[A] stunningly brave book.”
— Elle

“This month’s must-read nonfiction: terrorism expert Jessica Stern’s DENIAL: A Memoir of Terror which opens the decades-old file of a crime committed against Stern as a teen, launching her on a gutsy investigation into the ways in which trauma is perpetuated.”
— Vogue

“DENIAL [is] a profound human document… it is hot to the touch in ways that are both memorable and disturbing.”
— New York Times

“[Stern’s] commitment to introspection makes for a book that is memorably searing…”
— New York Times Book Review

“[Denial is a] powerfully constructed memoir … [an] incandescently honest book…”
— Washington Post

“[Stern’s rapist] whose chaotic life and whose own probable victimization Stern reconstructs, caused her lifelong anguish. She doesn’t simply tell us so but shows us in shattered, artfully repetitive narration.”
— Boston Globe

“…An intense and honest examination…DENIAL is a touching portrait of how the after affects of trauma can influence the personal and professional life of its victim.”
— Philadelphia Tribune

“An extraordinary memoir conveys Stern’s process of denial, dissociation, and healing in her dawning realization of intolerable truths.”
— Providence Journal

“a compelling investigation into her own life, the life of the serial rapist who committed at least 44 similar crimes and the way trauma affects everyone it touches, sometimes in surprisingly positive ways.”
— Time magazine

“In this skillfully wrought, powerful study, a terrorism expert, national security adviser, and lecturer at Harvard, returns to a definitive episode of terror in her own early life and traces its grim, damaging ramifications… Stern’s work is a strong, clear-eyed, elucidating study of the profound reverberations of trauma.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Wonderfully compassionate, absorbing reading for anyone.”
— Booklist (starred review)

“Most moving is the author’s contemplation of denial itself, and its effect of re-victimizing the victim… She successfully unearths difficult emotional terrain without sinking into utter subjectivity and maintains an orderly progression without becoming clinical. A disturbing, captivating memoir.”
— Kirkus Reviews

“Jessica Stern has written a remarkable book, unlike any that I’ve read. This deeply personal and often painful reflection documents the costs of personal, familial, and community silence as well as the liberating effects of truthful testimony.”
— Howard Gardner, Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and author of Multiple Intelligences

“One of the most important books I have read in a decade….Brave, life changing and gripping as a thriller...A tour de force.”
— Naomi Wolf

“[An] eloquent, vital book. . .brilliant [and] indispensable.”
— Cleveland Plain Dealer

“[A] harrowing memoir of a girl whom trauma has taught to distrust herself and who learns to live with the idea of her appeal to compassion and forgiveness, rather than a condemnation of the destructive impulses that haunt each of us.”
— Susanna Moore, author of IN THE CUT

“A masterpiece. A remarkable human journey from confusion and doubt to clarity and perspective.”
— Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. Professor of Psychiatry, Boston University Medical School and Founder and Medical Director of the Trauma Center

“An unflinchingly courageous self-examination... riveting and brilliantly told story... The book will be illuminating for victims and survivors of trauma, those who work or live with them, family members with generational histories of trauma, and for those who care about how our histories shape our lives.”
— Edward R. Shapiro, M.D. Medical Director and CEO, Austen Riggs Center and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine

“A memorable, powerful and deeply courageous book, DENIAL is also a riveting read... With devastating honesty [Stern] explores the impact of trauma on victims and those close to them, and the costs of denial for both.”
— Louise Richardson, author of WHAT TERRORISTS WANT

“[Denial] will allow people into parts of themselves they didn’t ven knew they had. Parts full of rage, of terror, of pride in their own detachment... For anyone who has lived at proximity to violence, it is one of the most necessary accounts of our time.”
— Eliza Griswold, journalist and author of WIDEAWAKE FIELD