Dominic Bucca is the author of Faculty Brat: A Memoir of Abuse, winner of the 2019 Iowa Prize for Literary Nonfiction.

Dominic Bucca’s art teacher mother married his music teacher stepfather twice, and the young boy wondered if the union might be twice as strong as a result. Instead, he quickly discovered that the marriage was twice as flawed and growing worse with each passing year. When Bucca was nine years old, his stepfather began sexually abusing him in the faculty housing attached to the boys’ dorm his parents oversaw. Years later, he found escape by reaching out to his real dad, and learned to split his life between two realities.

For nearly twenty-five years, Bucca hid the secret of his stepfather’s abuse from his mother and sisters. When he decided to break his silence, Bucca discovered the disturbing limits of both his family and the legal system.

Faculty Brat explores the foundations of an abusive home, the effects of childhood abuse on burgeoning sexuality, the ways in which class and privilege affect legal outcomes for victims, and how far the limits of family can be pushed.

“A powerful, heartbreaking, and fearless essay on abuse, family, and the fragmentation of the self, Faculty Brat takes narrative prose to a new and necessary level.”

— Susan Steinberg, judge, Iowa Prize for Literary Nonfiction, author, Machine

Faculty Brat will be published by the University of Iowa Press in spring 2020.

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