About the book
I am standing, stock still. Terror constricts my chest. I struggle to breathe. When I swallow the sound splices the air: it competes with the beat beat beat of my heart. My legs won’t move; they have mutinied … I inch forward, staying low beneath the windowsill. My life depends on my not being seen.
Emerita Professor Jan Jordan: successful academic and passionate advocate for survivors of sexual violence. Janet Robinson: despairing cutter and overdoser, excluded from university ‘for failure to make satisfactory progress’.
Snorkelling the Abyss explores the two worlds of one woman and the apparently unnavigable void between them. With searing honesty, Jan Jordan shows how she fought to free herself from an inner culture of self-loathing and the external culture of a suburban childhood that repressed ‘feelings’ and ignored psychic pain – and only then could she work towards transforming the rape culture and gender inequities of Aotearoa. This is a powerful story that affirms the importance of connection and the imperative of speaking out.