Nine Little Girls 

Some years ago, deep into a confounding research assignment for which I had been combing through the website of the South Dakota legislature, I stumbled upon the recorded testimony of a woman describing in detail her own rape and torture, and the tortures of her sisters by the same hands. In her account the acts, which allegedly took place in the 1960s and 1970s, continued for several years and had begun when they were all children some fifty years earlier. The discovery of that testimony was a thing that happened to me, an event in my life, in the way realizing for the first time that my parents will grow old and die was an event in my life. The sound of her voice, the stories she told, gripped me, and attached me to a group of people I had never met, to a story that, before that evening, had

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