Winner of the 2015 BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction
Longlisted for Canada Reads 2017
In this powerful memoir, philosopher Karyn L. Freedman travels back to a Paris night in 1990 when she was twenty-two and, in one violent hour, her life was changed forever by a brutal rape. One Hour in Paris takes the reader on a harrowing yet inspirational journey through suffering and recovery both personal and global. We follow Freedman from an apartment in Paris to a French courtroom, from a trauma centre in Toronto to a rape clinic in Africa. At a time when as many as one in three women in the world have been victims of sexual assault and when many women are still ashamed to come forward, Freedman's book is a moving and essential look at how survivors cope and persevere.
At once deeply intimate and terrifyingly universal, One Hour in Paris weaves together Freedman's personal experience with the latest philosophical, neuroscientific, and psychological insights into what it means to live in a body that has been traumatized. Using her background as a philosopher, she looks at the history of psychological trauma and draws on recent theories of posttraumatic stress disorder and neuroplasticity to show how recovery from horrific experiences is possible. Through frank discussions of sex and intimacy, she explores the consequences of sexual violence on love and relationships, and she illustrates the steep personal cost of sexual violence and the obstacles faced by individual survivors in its aftermath. Freedman's book is an urgent call to face this fundamental social problem head-on, arguing that we cannot continue to ignore the fact that sexual violence against women is rooted in gender inequalities that exist worldwide—and must be addressed.
One Hour in Paris is essential reading for survivors of sexual violence as well as an invaluable resource for therapists, mental health professionals, and family members and friends of victims.
About the author
Karyn L. Freedman lives in Toronto and is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Guelph. One Hour in Paris is her first book.
- Long-listed, Canada Reads
- Winner, British Columbia National Award for Non-Fiction
- Short-listed, Alberta Trade Non-Fiction Book of the Year
"Vital reading for addressing the aftermath of sexual violence and challenging rape culture." — Globe and Mail, Top 100 Books of 2014
"In her brave and compelling memoir, the professor of philosophy uses her keen intellect and in-depth knowledge of trauma to unravel the complexity of rape, and to make sense of the imprint it has made on her life, and on the lives of so many others." — National Post
"[A]n extraordinary new book." — Toronto Star
"[A] brilliant, brave and soul-searing account." — Winnipeg Free Press
"One Hour in Paris is not only for survivors: it is a story of the audacity of courage in the face of trauma, a brave and moving book that deserves to be read by audiences at large." — Quill and Quire starred review
"Karyn Freedman's terrifying and shattering story, One Hour in Paris, reveals the devastating truth about rape—that it is not confined to one terrible moment, but it determines and shapes a lifetime. If you want to understand why we need to do everything in our power to end rape, read this book." — Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues
"One Hour in Paris is a slim book but a powerful one, and has the potential to catalyze the kind of dialogue that can lead to social change." — BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction jury citation