Lucky

The timeless, fearless, #1 New York Times bestselling memoir from the author of The Lovely Bones—a powerful account of her sexual assault at the age of eighteen and the harrowing trial that followed, now with a new afterword by the author.

In a memoir hailed for its searing candor, as well as its wit, Alice Sebold reveals how her life was transformed when, as an eighteen-year-old college freshman, she was brutally raped and beaten in a park near campus. What ultimately propels this chronicle of sexual assault and its aftermath is Sebold’s indomitable spirit, as she fights to secure her rapist’s arrest and conviction and comes to terms with a relationship to the world that has forever changed. With over a million copies in print, Lucky has touched the lives of a generation of readers. Sebold illuminates the experience of trauma victims and imparts a wisdom profoundly hard-won: “You save yourself or you remain unsaved.” Now reissued with a new afterword by the author, her story remains as urgent as it was when it was first published eighteen years ago.
  • Scribner | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781501171635 | 
  • May 2017
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Lucky includes an introduction and discussion questions. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Introduction

In a memoir hailed for its searing candor as well as its wit, Alice Sebold reveals how her life was transformed when, as an eighteen-year-old college freshman, she was brutally raped and beaten in a park near campus. What propels this chronicle is Sebold’s indomitable spirit—as she struggles for understanding; as her family and friends sometimes bungle their efforts to provide comfort and support; and as she ultimately triumphs, managing through grit and coincidence to help secure her attacker’s arrest and conviction. In a narrative by turns thrilling and inspiring, Sebold illuminates the experience of trauma victims and imparts a wisdom profoundly hard-won: “You save yourself or you remain unsaved.”

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. Lucky opens with an incredibly brutal scene. Immediately after the rape, Alice tells her attacker she forgives him. Why?

2. “I was learning that no one—females included—knew what to do with a rape victim” (page 78). How did Alice’s friends and classmates react to her story?

3. see more

About the Author

Alice Sebold

Alice Sebold is the author of three #1 bestselling books, including Lucky, and the novels The Lovely Bones and The Almost Moon. Her work has been translated into more than fifty languages and has appeared in The New York Times and The Guardian, among other publications. She is a member of the National Leadership Council for RAINN.org (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network). She lives in California.

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