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Once upon a time one Valentine's Day, a dazzling eucalyptus day near Malibu, California, a woman took a walk in her neighborhood park where a man tried to kill her with a sledgehammer. She survived the attack by feigning her own death and lived to tell the tale of madness and triumph.

   This is the true story of that horror moment and the next two years in a woman's life, of her relationships with men, with her friends, with her family and daughter, with her work and with all the lost devils of other traumas that jumped on to her shoulders to haunt this crisis, with the violence that smothers our world in our time. It is Carol Rossen's story - a gifted, sensitive actress - a black comedic journey told with bite and wit in tough-minded prose, a story of enrichment that will inspire and enlighten as it entertains.


In our time, terror always lurks at the edge of the quotidian, ready to pounce on our ordinariness and outrage it. Carol Rossen’s book - brave and bracing, brisk and biting - gives us a women’s answer to that possibility. The story of how she recovered from a near-deadly assault by replacing an immobilizing sense of victimization with intelligent mobilized anger - and rediscovered her bearings as an actress, mother and caring human being - is told in a unique voice, marked by earthy candor, unsentimental self-awareness, and the quite literally saving grace of humor.

- Richard Schickel, film critic, documentarian and author of 

D.W. Griffith: An American Life 


When you turn the pages of Counterpunch, you’re not reading a book, you are living inside the skin and bones of an extraordinary woman - a beautiful sensitive actress - sharing the terror, anger, and ultimate triumph over an attack she survived only by feigning death. This is the stuff from which Joan Didion creates fiction. But Carol Rossen lived to tell it - in prose as steel-edged and authentic as any California teller of tales.

-Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey, author of

A Woman of Independent Means


An extraordinary account of a close encounter with death and the ongoing turmoil that followed....

- Dominick Dune, author of

The Two Mrs. Grenvilles


Counterpunch is wonderful, strong, honest, unflinching, smart, tough, talented. And right from the deepest part of the soul. I am impressed.

-Robert Redford, actor, director,

Founder of Sundance Institute

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