One Omaha winter day in 1978, when Debora Harding was just fourteen, she was abducted at knife-point, thrown into a van, assaulted, held for ransom, and left to die. But what if this wasn’t the most traumatic, defining event in her childhood? Undertaking a radical project, Debora Harding dexterously shifts between the past and present to unravel her story. From the immediate aftermath to the possibility of restorative justice twenty years later, Dancing with the Octopus lays bare the social and political forces that act upon us after the experience of serious crime.
A vivid, sly and intimate portrait of one family’s disintegration, this is a darkly humorous and ground-breaking narrative of reckoning and recovery.
A message from the author:
Thank you so much for your support of Dancing with the Octopus. Especially in these difficult times.
I do hope, in addition to it being a rewarding read, it will provoke vitally needed discussions around societal violence and its toll on the mental health — not only of its victims, but of those who love them.
If the telling of this story stops one devastating act of cruelty, or lightens the journey for one family, than it will make the years it took to shape it, worthwhile.