Know My Name
A MemoirBook - 2019
"I opened Know My Name with the intention to bear witness to the story of a survivor. Instead, I found myself falling into the hands of one of the great writers and thinkers of our time. Chanel Miller is a philosopher, a cultural critic, a deep observer, a writer's writer, a true artist. I could not put this phenomenal book down." --Glennon Doyle, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Love Warrior and Untamed
" Know My Name is a gut-punch, and in the end, somehow, also blessedly hopeful." -- Washington Post
She was known to the world as Emily Doe when she stunned millions with a letter. Brock Turner had been sentenced to just six months in county jail after he was found sexually assaulting her on Stanford's campus. Her victim impact statement was posted on BuzzFeed, where it instantly went viral--viewed by eleven million people within four days, it was translated globally and read on the floor of Congress; it inspired changes in California law and the recall of the judge in the case. Thousands wrote to say that she had given them the courage to share their own experiences of assault for the first time.
Now she reclaims her identity to tell her story of trauma, transcendence, and the power of words. It was the perfect case, in many ways--there were eyewitnesses, Turner ran away, physical evidence was immediately secured. But her struggles with isolation and shame during the aftermath and the trial reveal the oppression victims face in even the best-case scenarios. Her story illuminates a culture biased to protect perpetrators, indicts a criminal justice system designed to fail the most vulnerable, and, ultimately, shines with the courage required to move through suffering and live a full and beautiful life.
Know My Name will forever transform the way we think about sexual assault, challenging our beliefs about what is acceptable and speaking truth to the tumultuous reality of healing. It also introduces readers to an extraordinary writer, one whose words have already changed our world. Entwining pain, resilience, and humor, this memoir will stand as a modern classic.
Chosen as a BEST BOOK OF 2019 by The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, TIME, Elle, Glamour, Parade, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, BookRiot
From the critics
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"Every woman who spoke out did so because she hit a point where she could no longer live another day in the life she tried to build. So she turned, slowly, back around to face it. Society thinks we live to come after him. When in fact, we live to live. That's it. He upended that life, and we tried to keep going, but couldn't. Each time a survivor resurfaced, people were quick to say what does she want, shy did it take her so long, why now, why not then, why not faster. But damage does not stick to deadlines. If she emerges, why don't we ask her how it was possible she lived with that hurt for so long,... Victims are often accused of seeking revenge, but revenge is a tiny engine... He may sit in a cell, but he will never know what it's like to be unhomed from his own body. We don't fight for our own happy endings. We fight to say you can't. We fight for accountability. We fight to establish precedent. We fight because we pray we'll be the last ones to feel this kind of pain."
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