Krakauer Book on Campus Rape Rocks Mont. Town
'Missoula' scrutinizes sexual assaults at university and how victims were treated
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2015 1:00 PM CDT
In this Sept. 17, 2014, file photo, author Jon Krakauer speaks during an interview in Denver.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

(Newser) – Jon Krakauer, the author of Into the Wild and Into Thin Air, has a new book out today, and there's one town in particular that's been steeling itself for its release for months. Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town stays true to its title, examining sexual assaults on the University of Montana campus and the way university and local law enforcement treated victims afterward, the New York Times reports. But while some in town are glad to air the dirty laundry with the hope of making changes that will help future victims, other residents wish the name of Missoula hadn't been plastered all over the book (and the media) to achieve this goal. "It's great, because it's raising attention to the issue," one resident who’s lived there for 10 years tells the Times. "But Missoula is not the issue."

Krakauer partly agrees, telling NPR that "I don't mean to single out Missoula. … I think its problems with dealing with rape are pretty depressingly typical." But he used the town as a case study, partly because Missoula—in the spotlight for some time for its large number of sexual assault cases—kept popping up during his rape research, he tells NPR. "This will sound ridiculous, but it never occurred to me that Missoula would be upset about the title," he tells the Missoulian. Locals are trying to reconcile their home with the info divulged in the book—especially Missoula County Attorney Kirsten Pabst, chief deputy prosecutor during the years Krakauer examined, who tells the Times the author "chose not to interview me" (he says he sent her a list of Qs that went unanswered). But a woman in her 70s called him after reading a draft and thanked him, Krakauer tells the Missoulian: She told him she had been raped by an athlete during her freshman year.
 

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