cover image Assume Nothing: A Story of Intimate Violence

Assume Nothing: A Story of Intimate Violence

Tanya Selvaratnam. HarperCollins, $28.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-063-05990-0

Filmmaker Selvaratnam (The Big Lie) traces the harrowing story of her relationship with former New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in this courageous work. Following her explosive admission in the New Yorker in 2018 about Schneiderman’s abuse, she unflinchingly shares details of the violence she endured. Selvaratnam met Schneiderman at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, where they connected over their progressive ideals. Soon after, they started dating. Schneiderman was a rising public figure, but in their relationship, she writes, he became a “nightmare” and would slap and choke her during sex, and called her “his property.” Despite being a successful woman in her 40s, she stayed with him. Recently divorced, Selvaratnam writes she “was weakened with regard to romance” and that Schneiderman “had a history of breaking strong women down.” After a year of abuse and threats, she finally sought the aid of friends, and when news broke about Harvey Weinstein, they helped her leave him. The revelation that Schneiderman abused another ex-girlfriend inspired her to come forward to the New Yorker, leading to his resignation. In capping her account, Selvaratnam offers advice and resources for victims of abuse, emphasizing, “you are not alone and you are not crazy.” This gripping story is not to be missed. Agent: Meg Thompson, Thompson Literary. (Feb.)