Published On: Wed, Dec 1st, 2021

Alice Sebold pulls memoir after an overturned rape conviction

Image courtesy of The Guardian

Alice Sebold, author of the 1999 memoir ‘Lucky,’ is pulling books from shelves.

As reported by The Guardian, Sebold’s publisher is pulling the memoir after a man in the heart of the book was cleared of rape.

Anthony Broadwater was convicted of raping Sebold in 1982.

Broadwater spent 16 years in prison and was exonerated last week after a re-examination of the case found issues with his arrest and trial.

The memoir ‘Lucky’ recounts how Sebold was rapped and beaten when she was 18 years old. The memoir describes that she saw a Black man in the streets months later and she believed that he was her attacker. 

When Broadwater was arrested, Sebold was unable to identify him in an identity parade but identified him as her rapist on the witness stand. Microscopic hair analysis had previously tied Broadwater to the crime, but this analysis has since been deemed junk science.

Sebold’s publisher has issued a statement saying that the book is being pulled while Sebold revises it. “Following the recent exoneration of Anthony Broadwater, and in consultation with the author, Scribner and Simon & Schuster will cease distribution … while Sebold and Scribner together consider how the work might be revised,” says the publisher.

Sebold has also apologized to Broadwater since the overturned conviction, stating that premature injustice action was not her intention. “I am grateful that Mr. Broadwater has finally been vindicated, but the fact remains that 40 years ago, he became another young Black man brutalized by our flawed legal system. I will forever be sorry for what was done to him,” says Sebold in a statement.

About the Author

Lauren Do Nascimento - Lauren is a junior at Nova Southeastern University who is studying Communications, Creative Writing, and Strategic Communications. In her free time, she loves to go to the beach and writing what's on her mind.

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