Behind the mask

An excerpt –

“And then at one of my events, another signing line—this one at the Brattle Theatre, in Cambridge—a young woman walked up and started to thank me for my novel, for one of its protagonists, Beli. Beli, the tough-love Dominican mother who suffered catastrophic sexual abuse throughout her life.

I had a life a lot like Beli’s, the young woman said, and then, without warning, she choked into tears. She wanted to say more to me, but before she could she was overwhelmed and fled. I could have tried to stop her. I could have called after her me too me too. I could have said the words: I was also raped.

But I didn’t have the courage. I turned to the next person in line and smiled.

And you know what? It felt good to be behind the mask. It felt like home.”

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