De-authorizing rape narrators
This chapter examines how reviewers take silence-sustaining or silence-breaking stances toward rape in online reviews of anti-terrorism expert, Jessica Stern’s (2010) book, Denial: A Memoir of Terror. I analyze how reviewers recontextualize the story of this uncontroversial rape and its narrator. The data consist of 47 reviews, ranging from professional reviewers at major newspapers to ‘citizen reviewers’ found on commercial bookstores’ websites and on readers’ blogs. Using stance as my analytic framework (Jaffe 2009), I show how readers align their reviews in ways that either authorize or de-authorize the narrator and her narrative.