Intimate Violence examines texts about violence, about one person's desire to inflict pain upon ather. Laura E. Tanner's interest lies in the dynamics that allow the reader to become intimate both with the power of the rapist and the torturer and with the vulnerability of the victim. As the intimacy of the reading experience allows us to come close to characters and experiences that we might otherwise never encounter, so too can it force us into landscapes of violation from which it is difficult to escape. Tanner concentrates on texts that incorporate controversial, offensive, and critically unsettling representations of rape and torture. Because they are shocking, these texts may be said to exist at the very margins of literary discourse, and they raise urgent and often disturbing theoretical questions. Among the texts Tanner discusses are such torious works as D. M. Thomas's The White Hotel , Hubert Selby's Last Exit to Brooklyn , and Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho , as well as vels by Faulkner, Orwell, Gloria Naylor, and Louise Erdrich.
LAURA E. TANNER is Assistant Professor of English at Boston College.