After the Flashlight Man



One night in 1990, a stranger cut the screen out of Nancy McCabe’s bedroom window while she slept and shone a flashlight into her eyes as she woke. A few weeks later, her father came down with temporary amnesia.

Although unrelated, these events became linked in her mind, sweeping out from under her the fundamentals she had always taken for granted: safety, freedom, the stability of memory, and a general oblivion to mortality.

After the Flashlight Man is the story of how she came to terms with these experiences that threw her life into a whole new light: self-defense classes, rape crisis volunteer work, writing, and meditation that served as checkpoints along a healing journey while she re­-examined events from her childhood and relationships with family and friends.

Ultimately, a flashlight turned against her became instead a metaphorical tool she used to blazed a path, the impetus to reclaim, recast, and tell her own stories, discovering her own power to reinvent her vision of her life.