Dancing with the Octopus
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A fierce, strikingly redemptive exploration of the impact of traumatic violence on victim, perpetrator and society

About the Author

Debora Harding wrote the final version of this story after watching Christine Blasey Ford's testimony against Trump nominee Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, in 2018. A writer whose work has appeared in the Guardian, Daily Mail and elsewhere, she has trained as a mediator in restorative justice and worked in US politics, amongst other things. The mother of two children, she spent her childhood in Nebraska and Iowa and now lives in England with her British husband.

Reviews

A searing literary work that will help many of us see trauma in a different light. In strong and powerful prose Debora Harding shows us what it means to move forward through grief.
*This Too Shall Pass*

Dancing with the Octopus is a brave and authentic picture of the tailwinds of trauma, the limits of human forgiveness and what it takes to maintain hope in a world bent on breaking us. Highly readable, and deeply moving.
*No Visible Bruises*

A gripping account of one woman's confrontation with the terror and heartbreak of her past. Harding combines true crime and family saga to illustrate the aftershocks of trauma, and the courage, tenderness, and humor that recovery requires.
*Abandon Me*

Debora Harding writes with a stunningly original mixture of insight, wit, and humanity about a life packed with so much drama, loss and resilience that you can't believe its not an epic work of fiction.
*The Truants*

Extraordinary, so powerful and like nothing I've read. Astonishing book. It deserves to be the most massive hit.
*Kate Mosse*

I have just finished reading Dancing with the Octopus... You are lucky! The electricity of this true crime memoir awaits you.
*Lemn Sissay (via Twitter)*

Debora Harding's book is a beautiful and exacting monument to resilience and recovery
*Daily Telegraph*

It's as gripping as any thriller and as moving as any novel you're ever likely to read.
*Paul Chahidi (via Twitter)*

Incredible ... a memoir like few others ... seek it out
*Woman's Hour*

Darkly humorous . . . Harding draws a complex web of interlinked experiences to show how suffering can set up shop for good in a family and a town
*CrimeReads - Most Anticipated Crime Books of 2020*

Gripping ... written with such a light touch that you are drawn in straight away from the moment you open it
*BBC Radio 2*

A sharp, compelling recollection of abuse, gaslighting, and the process of trauma... Ultimately, Dancing with the Octopus is a book about telling and the power of retelling-an act carried out with wit, grace, and humour by an author of her own narrative truth
*Cambridge Review of Books*

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