RaveHarper'sLolita is a book that appears to be about seduction but is really about rape. The Incest Diary presents itself as the inverse, a book apparently about rape but really about seduction. But this conceit betrays the further truth — call it the secret under the secret under the secret — that sometimes rape and seduction, coercion and desire, are not opposed at all … There has lately been a cultural turn toward believing, as a matter of decent politics, the purported victims of rape and sexual abuse. The Incest Diary shows us, horrifyingly, why that matters … It is hard to assess The Incest Diary as a literary object. For all its elegance, its moments of chilly beauty, the book never allows one to fully divorce it, as a piece of writing, from its devastating occasion — much less to entertain the thought that the abuse might be somehow redeemed through its writing. It is far easier to say, or should be, that the book is a significant feminist text.