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  • Dialogue Books

Post-Traumatic: Utterly compelling literary fiction about survival, hope and second chances

Chantal V. Johnson

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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

A striking, psychologically astute debut about the aftermath of trauma

Can Vivian live ecstatically, after what has been done to her?

To the outside observer, Vivian is a success story - a dedicated lawyer who advocates for mentally ill patients at a psychiatric hospital. Privately, Vivian contends with the memories and aftereffects of her bad childhood, compounded by the everyday stresses of being a Black, Latinx woman living in a white society. She lives in a constant state of hypervigilant awareness that makes even a simple tube ride into a heart-pounding drama.

For years, Vivian has self-medicated with a mix of dating, dieting, dark humour and smoking weed with her best friend, Jane. But after a family reunion prompts Vivian to take a bold step, she finds herself alone in new and terrifying ways, without even Jane to confide in, and she starts to unravel.

Will she find a way to repair what matters most to her?

A debut from a stunning talent, Post-Traumatic is a new kind of survivor narrative, featuring a complex heroine who is blazingly, indelibly alive. With razor-sharp prose and mordant wit, Chantal V. Johnson performs an extraordinary feat, delivering a psychologically astute story about the aftermath of trauma that somehow manages to brim with warmth, laughter, and hope.

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Chantal V. Johnson

Chantal Johnson is a tenant lawyer and writer. A graduate of Stanford Law School and a 2018 Center for Fiction Emerging Writers Fellow, she lives in New York.

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