love is stronger than death

…although probably not in any of the ways you were hoping. From The Bone Woman:

…because the inhabitants of Srebrenica had lived under siege for several years, they didn’t have access to new clothes, so the women had repaired the same garments, month after month. Thus, they could recognize their own stitches, could describe the type of mending they did and what material they used, and remembered exactly what part they had mended. In the morgue we found that where, say, head hair was no longer present on a body, a triangular fabric patch was still holding together the inside of a trouser pocket, the color of the thread still vibrant, a beacon illuminating the varied stitchwork that could identify the man whose trousers they were.

Macabre as it is, The Bone Woman turns out to be a heartening read, if only because of Clea Koff’s sense of mission. She believes she was born to exhume mass graves and let their occupants tell their stories, and for all I know she was. I know I wasn’t. And her work is a gift to the families of the dead, who speak of: “their need to hold even just one bone if that was all that was left.”

That line cut me to the quick.

In other news of ghosts, Moira wrote to point out what I had already begun to suspect, Googling around for links. A lot of sexual abusers who claim to have been victimized as children are probably lying.

22-82% of people convicted of sexual abuse report being victims of sexual abuse themselves.

Salter is understandably dubious about any self-report of being sexually abused, querying the motivation of someone who has been convicted, or is going to court for allegations of perpetrating abuse. In support of her position, she refers to 3 studies where the reporting of being a victim of sexual abuse dropped from 67%, 65% and 61% when subjects were given immunity, down to 29%, 32% and 30% respectively, where the subjects thought a polygraph (or lie-detector) would be involved.

Round and round we go. In other other news, The World Without Us, like The Bone Woman, turns out to be not half as depressing as you would think. In fact, it’s a guilty relief.

Leave a Reply

Comments are closed.