Jon Krakauer is best known for his bestselling books on mountain-climbing (Into the Wild, Into Thin Air), but in his latest, he tackles a different subject: campus rape. Krakauer told NPR he started to think about the issue of acquaintance rape after a friend of his confided that she’d been raped by a friend as a teenager; he said he hadn’t given the subject much thought before then. He started researching online and kept landing on cases from Missoula, the college town of the University of Montana. In the book he focuses on four years’ worth of rape cases in Missoula–which amount to over 200, and few of which were prosecuted. Missoula’s law enforcement refused to cooperate with Krakauer; instead, he relied mainly on extensive interviews with victims and transcripts of trials. Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town comes out tomorrow. Earlier this month, he wrote an article for Women in the World that centered on sexual assault being the most underreported crime in America.
Jon Krakauer will appear at the Women in the World Summit in New York City on April 24.
Listen to Krakauer’s interview with NPR.