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.