Two more Oregon newspapers just published some detailed stories about The Black Lens novel.
That event will shine a spotlight on the recent prostitution sting in Bend, where The Black Lens novel takes place. The sting operation resulted in freedom for one 19-year-old woman who had been a victim of sex trafficking since she was 13.
“A fictional horror told through a ‘Black Lens’”
“The Black Lens” is not a pretty novel. In fact, it’s pretty awful, focusing as it does on the sex trafficking of teenage girls who fall prey to depraved pimps who control them with violence, drugs and threats against their families or friends.
The fact that it’s fiction doesn’t help, because every fiction in “The Black Lens” is a fact to some young woman who’s been in — or still is trapped in — that type of situation. Be forewarned, the language is raunchy and explicit. The tone is dark. The plot is a zigzag line from deceit to despair to doom.
The ending, while not happy, at least offers a whiff of hopefulness after two teenage sisters tricked into a violent adult-run prostitution ring in their Central Oregon town find the courage and someone they can trust to expose the filthy operation.
Author Christopher Stollar spent three years researching human trafficking in the United States, interviewing everyone he could find — women who have experienced prostitution, social workers, counselors, people in law enforcement — to help portray its reality.
Click here for the full story.
“A focus on human trafficking”
While Christopher Stollar’s novel “The Black Lens,” about sex trafficking and exploitation in Central Oregon, is a work of fiction, it is based on the disturbing reality that human trafficking is one of the fastest-growing crimes worldwide.
The Aug. 17 arrests of several people in Bend after a sex-trafficking investigation shows just how close to home this issue comes. Investigators believe a 19-year-old Portland woman involved in that case had been forced into prostitution at age 13.
“I first learned about sex trafficking while I was living in Bend and working as a reporter at The Bulletin from 2006 to 2009,” said Stollar who now lives in Columbus, Ohio. At the time, Stollar heard rumors of a possible trafficking location that he never confirmed, he said.
However, his newfound awareness about the issue inspired him to write a story from the perspective of survivors. Stollar spent three years talking to victims, police officers and social workers before writing “The Black Lens.”