Where I Stopped: Remembering a Childhood Rape

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9780156004930: Where I Stopped: Remembering a Childhood Rape

The first memoir to address the issue of adolescent rape, Where I Stopped is also a chilling protrait of a troubled American family, whose awkward silence and repression after the trauma contributed gradually to an almost cancerous breakdown. With gripping suspense and poignancy, this powerful memoir is "a story all too many women know," wrote Kathryn Watterson, author of Not by the Sword, "told powerfully, with a poet's clear and hones eye for detail."

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About the Author:

Martha Ramsey was born in 1954 in Flemington, New Jersey, a farming community about 65 miles southwest of New York City. She had unusually creative, bohemian-minded, arts-oriented parents; her father was the pioneering jazz historian Frederic Ramsey, Jr. As a child she was precociously intelligent, socially clueless, and a bookworm. She attended high school at Solebury School in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The summer before tenth grade, in 1968, at age 13, while she was out on her own on a bike ride on back roads, she was attacked and raped by a 28-year-old man, a stranger to her. (Within his family and immediate friends, he was suspected of having molested other girls, but none of his other victims' families had come forward.)


After the rape Martha endured a confrontation with the rapist, at the police barracks, and giving testimony at the trial that resulted in his conviction and a sentence of 15 years. Five years later, on the same date as his rape of Martha, almost immediately after being paroled, the perpetrator brutally abused and murdered a 16-year-old girl in the same community; he was sentenced to life in prison for that crime.

Where I Stopped, written when Ramsey was in her thirties, tells this story in detail and follows her attempts to understand what had happened to her and how it affected her over the years as she grew into adulthood, pursued her calling as a poet, and married, and her eventual decision to go back to the place where she grew up, speak with people who remembered the crime and who participated in the trial, unearth the police and trial records, and come to terms with what she remembered.

A literary memoir first published to high critical acclaim in 1995, Where I Stopped was ahead of its time, and was the first book-length autobiography focusing on rape during adolescence. It is a classic account of sexual trauma and recovery.

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Martha Ramsey
Published by Mariner Books (1997)
ISBN 10: 0156004933 ISBN 13: 9780156004930
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