Jeannie Vanasco

Jeannie Vanasco is the author of The Glass Eye: A Memoir (Tin House Books, 2017). Her work has appeared in The Believer, the New York Times Modern Love, Tin House, and elsewhere. She lives in Baltimore and is an assistant professor at Towson University. Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl is her second book.


  • Bold, unsettling, and timely. . . . A reckoning with injustice.


  • Gorgeous, harrowing, heartbreaking.


  • About violence and forgiveness, about friendship and the unwanted title of victim, about digging deeper and deeper to seek answers.

    —The New York Times Book Review

  • A cuttingly funny meta-meditation on her own pain in the context of #MeToo.

    —O, The Oprah Magazine

  • A remarkably nuanced account of the complicated and confusing emotions that surface when your rapist is someone you knew and trusted.

    —The Cut

  • About how important it is to speak about these oft-silenced experiences that cause so many to feel ashamed, scared, and alone.


  • A stunning work of meta nonfiction. . . . Vanasco’s narrative pushes far past the flattened media narrative of Me Too and asks uncomfortable questions about how to talk about rape culture, toxic masculinity and gender, justice, and resilience.


  • Perhaps the most important book of the season.


  • Utterly brilliant.

    —Book Riot

  • Thought-provoking, unmooring, and haunting.


  • Striking. . . . Creates a language for something we don’t talk about.

    —The Paris Review

  • Heartfelt, painful, and essential.

    —Shelf Awareness

  • A gripping read and true fodder for the necessary reckoning with toxic masculinity.


  • Vanasco immediately makes you wonder how we can take so much about sexual assault for granted.

    —The Times Literary Supplement

  • Intrepid. . . . A work that has the potential to change the way we think and talk about rape and the people who commit it.


  • Sets the canon of #MeToo-era creative nonfiction on fire. . . . Inimitable.

    —Booklist, Starred Review

  • An extraordinarily brave work of self- and cultural reflection.

    —Kirkus, Starred Review

  • Exactly the book we need right now. . . . I wish everyone in this country would read it.

    —Melissa Febos, author of Abandon Me

  • Stunning.

    —Angela Pelster, author of Limber

  • A literary feminist miracle.

    —Sophia Shalmiyev, author of Mother Winter

  • Brilliant.

    —Megan Stielstra, author of The Wrong Way to Save Your Life

  • Vanasco is a formidable talent.

    —Daniel Gumbiner, author of The Boatbuilder

  • An essential, unforgettable work.

    —Erik Anderson, author of Flutter Point

  • There is so much power in these pages.

    —Elissa Washuta, author of My Body is a Book of Rules

  • Interrogates the terms of betrayal and the limits of redemption.

    —Tim Taranto, author of Ars Botanica

  • A rigorous and nuanced investigation.

    —Lisa Locascio, author of Open Me

  • Wickedly clever and powerful.

    —Krystal A. Sital, author of Secrets We Kept: Three Women of Trinidad

  • Cuts through the silence of deep betrayal.

    —Amy Jo Burns, author of Shiner

  • Astonishingly fierce.

    —Emily Geminder, author of Dead Girls and Other Stories

  • Explores the common experience of rape with uncommon nuance and intense tenderness.

    —YZ Chin, author of Though I Get Home

  • The death of a parent is a stunning experience, and can upend even the most grounded soul. But what happens when the bereaved is already teetering on loose pins? How does a sensitive young writer make sense of life without a father to whom she was fiercely devoted? She writes him a book.

    In The Glass Eye, Jeannie Vanasco remembers her father with great affection while turning an unflinching gaze of the insupportable grief that visits her upon his death. The book is a fascinating meditation on loss, and an enduring monument to what remains. Wise, brave and beautifully wrought, The Glass Eye signals the arrival of an exceptionally fine new voice.

    —Alexandra Styron, author of READING MY FATHER

  • Jeannie Vanasco’s The Glass Eye is memoir as it ought to be, but so rarely is: beautiful and painfully raw, but also restrained and lyrical. Vanasco is brilliant, and this book proves it.

    —Darin Strauss, author of HALF A LIFE

  • Every memoir is a reckoning with the past, but only the most skilled and courageous memoirist can simultaneously inhabit the story that haunts her and the story of her reckoning with equal urgency. In The Glass Eye, Jeanne Vanasco shows us why rules should be broken: because an elegy that pulses with immediacy, a fragment that is inextricable from a whole, a book that comments on its own writing can smash what you think you know into pieces, and expose a piece of truth so bright it might be your own broken heart, handed back to you.

    —Melissa Febos, author of WHIP SMART & ABANDON ME

  • One month after going away to college, Jeannie Vanasco learned that her father had died, and with him his unconditional and sometimes all-consuming love for her. In The Glass Eye the writer asks, in prose that mesmerizes with geometric precision, how we can orient ourselves to the world when our only compass is grief. What begins as an experience of profound loss becomes an obsession, the fierce intensity of which propels readers through this breathtaking book.

    —Lacy Johnson, author of THE OTHER SIDE

  • With The Glass Eye, Jeannie Vanasco has produced a debut of incisive vision. In prose as vivid as a novel and as chiseled as poetry, Vanasco shows the reader that memoir can entail an unexpected, ultimately liberating reckoning. Delving into her family’s traumatic and moving history, Vanasco unearths the true story of her late namesake Jeanne, her father’s enduring sorrows, and how both have informed her own often difficult personal journey.

    —John Keene, author of COUNTERNARRATIVES