Why Amber Tamblyn wrote a novel about a female rapist



Amber Tamblyn's debut novel "Any Man" will be released on Tuesday.

Tamblyn’s rapist character, who only goes by her online name, Maude, is a phantom pursuing victims on dating sites, in crowded bars and via home invasions. Her male victims comprise the full racial and socioeconomic spectrum — including a married New York City poet, a young biracial college student, an older failed comedian and a gay right-wing conservative commentator. [possible trigger warning]Each attack is also unique, from leaving a man bloodied in a dive-bar alley to handcuffing an older man to a radiator and sodomizing him with his own broom.

“So few men come forward and report being the victims of rape,” says Amber talking about the plot of her novel. “You can only imagine how many more stay silent.”

“It’s very rare you find a female protagonist that is violent and volatile without reason. I wanted to shatter that as an archetype. I wanted to create someone who did it for the reasons that people actually sexually assault other people. It’s not about sex; it’s about power.

“It’s important to remember that sexual assault knows no race, no gender, no class. It’s something that harms all of us.”

About being worried how presenting a female rapist in the age of #MeToo might be deemed insensitive, Amber says: “I started writing this three and a half years ago, and there was part of me that wondered if I should wait to put it out. But I thought no, this is where the zeitgeist is. I’m not the only one who’s been feeling this way for years.”

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