Novel About Devil-Girl both Frightening and Inspirational

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Devil-Girl has no name. She is raised to believe the devil is inside her. Her experiences with other people only verify that she is evil, that her life is of no value, and she can contribute nothing positive to the world. Yet Devil-Girl has inner strength, and other Devil-Girls need her help.

What happens when children are told they are no good? When they are abused, neglected, and treated as worthless? Anya Achtenberg explores the dark, sad world of childhood abuse and how one girl found the power to rise above it in the heart-aching, powerfully told "The Stories of Devil Girl" (ISBN 9781932690620, Modern History Press, 2008).

Growing up Jewish in the diverse slums of Brooklyn, Devil-Girl is raised to believe she has the devil in her, or at least he is at work in her life. Her abusive mother teaches her she is worthless. Throughout childhood and her early adult years, the Devil-Girl encounters perverts and sadists who relish the chance to use and abuse her. Because she does not believe in her own self-worth, the child cannot even speak up for herself. But hope always exists.

Devil-Girl has no other name, but she comes to accept her name, to rework it and transform it until it holds power for, not over, her. Her story reflects those of many oppressed people, who take on the words they are called, using them to change and rename who they are. Devil-Girl finds her spirit, and that having the "devil" in her is a sign she is unbreakable--that she has the power to change herself.

Devil-Girl comes to learn how her experiences can make her strong. She also realizes she is not just an ordinary woman but protected, challenged, and raised to a mythic level by the presence of the larger Devil-Girl within her. Devil-Girl symbolizes that each person's power is larger than the individual. Like many abused children, Devil-Girl is restored to life by discovering her own power and its deeper connection to the world and those around her.

Anya Achtenberg has a talent for writing scenes in vivid detail to make Devil-Girl's sufferings painful and realistic. The novel will inspire those in abusive situations to overcome their pasts. Readers will become more aware of child-abuse and the importance of building a child's self-esteem. First released as an audiobook, "The Stories of Devil-Girl" will emphasize for people the importance of letting children's voices be heard and the necessity of being the voice for children who cannot raise their own.

About the Author
Anya Achtenberg is an award-winning fiction writer and poet. Her novel, "More Than the Wind," was excerpted in "Harvard Review." Her second poetry book, "The Stone of Language," was a finalist in five poetry competitions. Her stories have received numerous awards from Francis Ford Coppola's "Zoetrope: All-Story," "New Letters," the Asheville Fiction Writers Workshop, and the Raymond Carver Story Contest. She has taught creative writing at numerous colleges, universities, and conferences, and she has written curriculum for "at-risk" youth in and out of the public schools. She is the founder and author of "Writing for Social Change: Re-Dream a Just World," a series of multi-genre workshops on writing for social change. "The Stories of Devil-Girl" is her latest novel.

"The Stories of Devil-Girl" (ISBN 9781932690620, Modern History Press, 2008) can be purchased through local and online bookstores. For more information, visit http://www.anyaachtenberg.com. Publicity contact: http://www.ReaderViews.com. Review copies available upon request.

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IRENE WATSON

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