When a child is raped, 46 percent of the time the perpetrator is a family member, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice. House of Fire: A Story of Love,Courage, and Transformation (North Star Press) is a tale of incest (including two pregnancies), loss, and eventual renewal that author Elizabeth di Grazia hopes will open a dialogue to change those statistics – and innocent lives – for the better.
raising children of her own, di Grazia believes the first step to
ending sexual abuse is to talk about it. "I'm speaking the truth about
sexual abuse to give others the courage to do the same. I want to be a
part of the social change that's making it acceptable to talk about
incest and also about the babies born because of incest.”
I had a chance to review the book, which takes a stark, honest look at the abuse that defined di Grazia's healing, along with the steps she's taken towards healing. Her story, while difficult to read, can provide comfort for those who have gone through the terrible experience of family sexual assault and come out stronger.
di Grazia is a recent recipient of a Jerome Travel and Study Grant, a
2013-2014 mentor participant in the Minnesota Loft Mentor Series, and a
recipient of a Next Step Grant from the McKnight Foundation. She is one
of the founders of WordSisters. Her work has been anthologized in Illness
and Grace/Terror and Transformation And Families: Front Line of
Pluralism, both published by Wising Up Press. She has also widely
published prose in a number of journals, including Adoptive Families
Magazine, SLAB, Minnesota Literature, The Mom Writer's Literary
Magazine, Minnesota Parent, Adagio Verse Quarterly, Edge Life, and many
others. She has an MFA from Hamline University.