April 25, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

I Am the Central Park Jogger: A Story of Hope and Possibility

Current Status
In Season
Trisha Meili
We gave it a B

On the evening of April 19, 1989, a 28-year-old woman went for a run in Manhattan’s Central Park and was beaten, raped, and left for dead. Now Meili sheds the anonymity the press has respected for more than a decade. Because of severe brain trauma, she has no memories of the attack itself, so she focuses instead on her hard-won recovery. Meili devotes an entire chapter to the 1990 trials of her five alleged assailants — minority kids who’d long argued that their taped confessions were coerced — but only a few tacked-on paragraphs to recent revelations that the perpetrator was one man, a convicted murderer and rapist, acting alone. Despite such a glaring omission, her story is a triumphant one. In the preface, Meili notes that 28 other rapes were reported in New York City the week of her attack. May they all find a similar peace.

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