Aged fifteen and on track to be an Olympic gymnast, Lucia Osborne-Crowley was violently raped in Sydney on a night out, sparking a series of events that left her devastatingly ill for more than ten years of her life. When, a decade later she finally broke her silence and told someone about the rape her path to healing began. Lucia eventually found solace in writers like Elena Ferrante, and her work is about rediscovering vulnerability and resilience in the face of formerly unbearable trauma.
The author explores what has been proved, but is not yet widely known, about how trauma affects the body, bringing to our attention its cyclical, intergenerational nature; how trauma intersects with deeply held beliefs about the credibility of women; and how trauma is played out again and again in the fabric of our cultures, governments, judicial systems and relationships.
Lucia’s second book with a working title of My Body Keeps Your Secrets will be published in 2021. In her first full-length book, Lucia writes about the secrets a woman’s body keeps, from puberty to menstruation to sexual pleasure; to pregnancy or its absence; and to darker secrets of abuse, invasion or violation.
Moving from girlhood and adolescence to young womanhood, Osborne-Crowley establishes her credentials as a key feminist thinker of a new generation with this widely researched and boldly argued work about reclaiming our bodies in the age of social media, telling the story of the woman’s body in 2020 through a global, inclusive lens. My Body Keeps Your Secrets was awarded a Somerset Maughan Prize in 2022.
Virginia Woolf wrote the title essay “On Being Ill” originally in 1926, shortly after a world wide pandemic. In this anthology it was published again, alongside the poignant and excellent contributions by contemprory writers who have been asking themselves similar questions as Woolf did, whilst experiencing pain, sickness and suffering, but also epiphanies, creativitiy and foresight. Writers from across the United Kingdom, America, and Ireland have conributed each in their own individual style on the topics of illness and literature. Poet Deryn Rees-Jones wrote the preface. Other authors include Lucia Osborne-Crowley, Nafsissa Thompson-Spires, Nadia de Vries, Mieke van Zonneveld, Lieke Marsman and Jameisha Prescod and Sinéad Gleeson. The anthology finishes with Audre Lorde’s introduction to her Cancer Journals. The Dutch essays were translated by Sophie Collins.