Know My Name
The riveting, powerful memoir of the woman whose statement to Brock Turner gave voice to millions of survivorsShe 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.

Know My Name Details

TitleKnow My Name
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 24th, 2019
PublisherViking
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Feminism, Audiobook

Know My Name Review

  • jessica
    January 1, 1970
    ‘i am a victim, i have no qualms with this word, only with the idea that it is all that i am.’ previously known as emily doe when her victim impact statement was released, chanel miller reclaims her name and identity, proving that she is more than just a victim, in this powerful and (heartbreakingly) necessary memoir. this is one of the most difficult books i have ever read. i was completely beside myself, not just because of the sensitive content, but because of the injustice of it all. i ‘i am a victim, i have no qualms with this word, only with the idea that it is all that i am.’ previously known as emily doe when her victim impact statement was released, chanel miller reclaims her name and identity, proving that she is more than just a victim, in this powerful and (heartbreakingly) necessary memoir. this is one of the most difficult books i have ever read. i was completely beside myself, not just because of the sensitive content, but because of the injustice of it all. i cant even begin to describe the depth of my anger and hatred towards the unfair treatment sexual assault victims receive. ‘my pain was never more valuable than his potential.’ this sentence should NEVER be someones reality. and the grace with which chanel copes with and elegantly narrates such an unfathomable trauma is truly inspiring. it shows us that we must do better, we must be better, in a society that so corruptly mistreats survivors of sexual assault.for those of you who have suffered sexual assault and have been failed or discredited by a system that is suppose to protect you - you matter, you are believed, your life is just as important as anyone elses, and you are not defined by the worst thing that has happened to you. you are more than just a victim. ↠ 5 stars
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  • Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    Stunning. An absolutely stunning memoir, one of the best I have ever read. In Know My Name, Chanel Miller reclaims her identity after the press described her as “unconscious intoxicated woman” in the aftermath of when rapist Brock Turner assaulted her. I remember feeling inspired, impressed, and in awe of Miller’s victim impact statement as Emily Doe when it came out in 2016. Miller brings that same level of strength and eloquence to this memoir.When I read my favorite memoirists, I get this Stunning. An absolutely stunning memoir, one of the best I have ever read. In Know My Name, Chanel Miller reclaims her identity after the press described her as “unconscious intoxicated woman” in the aftermath of when rapist Brock Turner assaulted her. I remember feeling inspired, impressed, and in awe of Miller’s victim impact statement as Emily Doe when it came out in 2016. Miller brings that same level of strength and eloquence to this memoir.When I read my favorite memoirists, I get this feeling of familiarity, this sense of okay, I know who this person is, I can really see them. That’s how I felt throughout reading Know My Name. Miller takes back her power – after having been reduced to an unconscious victim – by writing beautifully and vulnerably about herself and her life, both before and after the assault. She includes so many heartwarming details that paint a picture of a woman who’s a loving sister, a witty artist and creator, as well as a person who has insecurities like all of us do. When I read details about her family, like how she caught her younger sister’s vomit in her hands to take care of her as a child or how she would listen to her dad sing along to music while cooking, I felt this immense sense of gratitude and closeness, like I wanted to thank her for making us remember that victims of trauma and assault are more than just what happened to them. Miller does a thorough job of detailing the impact of her trial itself, too, like how her sister had to continuously rearrange her school and work schedule because of court dates that kept getting delayed, and how Miller drained her bank account to cover expenses such as buying appropriate clothing for court.Miller’s writing itself is superb. The way she details the moments after she woke up in the hospital, how she describes her panic attacks and emotional outbursts in private and when she testified in court, her narration of the painstaking climb to heal and recover herself in a world with so many people who sought to discredit her – I felt like I was right there with her. Her prose is incisive and gets to the point without embellishment, and yet, she still captures the full emotional rollercoaster of her lived experience. I cried several times reading this memoir, both because of the anguish her rapist and the patriarchal legal system put her through, as well as because of how inspired and moved I felt by Miller’s self-awareness, her fortitude, and her courage in sharing her story. She’s put in hundreds and thousands of hours into processing this trauma and it shows in her insightfulness. I highlighted so many quotes from this book so it feels hard to choose just a couple to show in this review, but here’s one I loved, in which Miller describes her response after receiving kind letters from people who read her victim impact statement:"For the past year I had been raking through comments looking for signs of support. I dug through opinion pieces in local newspapers searching for someone to stand up for me. I locked myself in my car in parking lots crying into hotlines, convinced I was losing my mind. All year the loneliness had followed me, in the stairwell at work, in Philly, in the wooden witness stand, where I looked out at a near-empty audience. Yet all along there had been eyes watching me, rooting for me, from their own bedrooms, cars, stairwells, and apartments, all of us shielded inside our pain, our fear, our anonymity. I was surrounded by survivors, I was part of a we. They had never been tricked into seeing me as a minor character, a mute body; I was the leader on the front line fighting, with an entire infantry behind me. They had been waiting for me to find justice. This victory would be celebrated quietly in rooms in towns in states I had never been to. For so long, I’d imagined myself wandering across a dry, empty plain. This card was the puddle. The realization that just below the surface, more water led to streams to rivers to oceans. That this was only the beginning. I was not alone. They had found me.”Miller gets political in this memoir too, which is unsurprising given how intertwined her individual experience is to the political realities surrounding sexual assault and misogyny in the United States. She calls out the legal system for its awful treatment of survivors, she gently yet firmly describes Stanford’s complicity and refusal to take action on behalf of survivors, and she acknowledges her own Asian American identity that often got erased when the media described her as Emily Doe. Again, Miller’s skill as a memoirist shows, as she incorporates commentary about these broader systemic injustices while still sticking close to her truth and her own story. As the feminist rallying cry goes, the personal is political, and Miller writes with precision and power about how the political landscape surrounding sexual violence affected her, as well as how she herself altered the political landscape through her own perseverance and courage. Overall, I recommend this memoir to literally every human on this planet. Again, I cried several times, mostly in reaction to Miller’s profound pain, perseverance, and power. While Miller does not go into the details of her assault, some parts of this book may be triggering for those with similar trauma and assault-related experiences. Though I was not sexually assaulted, I found Miller’s voice and experiences a healing salve in my own journey with PTSD. I can only hope that this book goes down as a classic. Thank you to Chanel Miller for your voice and your courage. I’ll end the review with the last passage in the memoir, a testament to Miller’s beautiful heart:“I survived because I remained soft, because I listened, because I wrote. Because I huddled close to my truth, protected it like a tiny flame in a terrible storm. Hold up your head when the tears come, when you are mocked, insulted, questioned, threatened, when they tell you you are nothing, when your body is reduced to openings. The journey will be longer than you imagined, trauma will find you again and again. Do not become the ones who hurt you. Stay tender with your power. Never fight to injure, fight to uplift. Fight because you know that in this life, you deserve safety, joy, and freedom. Fight because it is your life. Not anyone else’s. I did it, I am here. Looking back, all the ones who doubted or hurt or nearly conquered me faded away, and I am the only one standing. So now, the time has come. I dust myself off, and go on.”
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  • chinomso ♡
    January 1, 1970
    Chanel’s story has captured the eye of the nation and has further uncovered the vile lack of justice that exists when rape and sexual assault occur (to this day, we still have prominent news outlets referring to Turner as the “Stanford Swimmer”). But I think memoirs like this have taken the narrative by the hand and guided it in a direction that it should be going. Chanel is not nameless. She’s not faceless. She is real and so was her experience. I’m glad I know your name, Chanel, and your story Chanel’s story has captured the eye of the nation and has further uncovered the vile lack of justice that exists when rape and sexual assault occur (to this day, we still have prominent news outlets referring to Turner as the “Stanford Swimmer”). But I think memoirs like this have taken the narrative by the hand and guided it in a direction that it should be going. Chanel is not nameless. She’s not faceless. She is real and so was her experience. I’m glad I know your name, Chanel, and your story deserves to be yours and yours alone. Not a story for media to spin, not a story for a rapist to deny, but a truth for you to tell. You’re a brave young woman who is making the world better with her words. I can’t wait to buy my copy.
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  • Holly
    January 1, 1970
    I still remember what a punch to the gut it was to read the victim impact statement from "Emily Doe" at Brock Turner's sentencing. Despite the fact that Brock Turner was actually caught in the act of sexually assaulting her, and despite the fact that he was found unanimously guilty on three separate charges, the judge presiding over his sentencing gave Turner only a 6 month sentence which really equated to a 3 month sentence due to time for 'good behavior'. The injustice of it all still burns I still remember what a punch to the gut it was to read the victim impact statement from "Emily Doe" at Brock Turner's sentencing. Despite the fact that Brock Turner was actually caught in the act of sexually assaulting her, and despite the fact that he was found unanimously guilty on three separate charges, the judge presiding over his sentencing gave Turner only a 6 month sentence which really equated to a 3 month sentence due to time for 'good behavior'. The injustice of it all still burns deeply.So when I heard that Emily Doe was now coming forward and had written a book about her experiences, I knew I had to read it (or actually, listen to it - she narrates the audiobook). This book is a heartfelt look into the trauma of sexual assault and the justice system. You really get an insight into how an ordinary day and a spur of the moment decision to attend a party with a younger sibling quickly turned into a nightmare that lasted for years and completely upturned her life. I cried so much while reading this book, in part because this could have so easily happened to me or any of my friends or loved ones. Chanel is not unique in having inadvertently drunk too much one night - she was not some out of control party girl, she was a typical college graduate with a full time job and a loving boyfriend. The usual repercussions of a single night of alcoholic excess is a terrible hangover - not being dragged outside behind a dumpster where no one could find her, having her underwear removed, and her vagina penetrated by a complete stranger's fingers. But really, that was only the beginning of her trauma as the court system moved slowly, the press caught wind of the story, and she was forced to repeatedly defend herself.My only qualms about this book are found in the chapters that take place after Turner's sentencing. Chanel briefly touches on other well-known incidents of injustice outside of her specific case, and some of those are less relevant and insightful than others, and their inclusion felt a little page-filler-y. But overall I would recommend this book.
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  • Gabby
    January 1, 1970
    “You took awayMy worth, my privacy,My energy,My time,My safety,My intimacy,My confidence,My own voice,Until today.”This story is fucking incredible, moving, brilliant. I don't really have words to describe how this story moved me and how I think it's one of the best of the year and how everyone needs to read this. It's the true story of Chanel Miller, a girl who was raped behind a dumpster on Stanford's campus in 2015. I was moved to tears many times while reading this because I can't imagine “You took awayMy worth, my privacy,My energy,My time,My safety,My intimacy,My confidence,My own voice,Until today.”This story is fucking incredible, moving, brilliant. I don't really have words to describe how this story moved me and how I think it's one of the best of the year and how everyone needs to read this. It's the true story of Chanel Miller, a girl who was raped behind a dumpster on Stanford's campus in 2015. I was moved to tears many times while reading this because I can't imagine the pain, the suffering and the horror of dealing with something like this. The way she describes the rigorous court process and how nobody believes you - they will question every little thing about you and what you were wearing or how much you were drinking and make you feel guilty because "he had so much potential" and you are "ruining his future" when he should be the one feeling guilty and ughhh. It was just so powerful and it made me feel such rage over how unfair the world is. Chanel Miller is so brave for sharing her story. "Victims exist in a society that tells us our purpose is to be an inspiring story. But sometimes the best we can do is tell you we’re still here, and that should be enough. Denying darkness does not bring anyone closer to the light. When you hear a story about rape, all the graphic and unsettling details, resist the instinct to turn away; instead look closer, because beneath the gore and the police reports is a whole, beautiful person, looking for ways to be in the world again." “My pain was never more valuable than his potential.”“They seemed angry that I’d made myself vulnerable, more than the fact that he’d acted on my vulnerability” “Most of us understand that your future is not promised to you. It is constructed day by day, through the choices you make. Your future is earned, little by little, through hard work and action. If you don’t act accordingly, that dream dissolves.” I really love this quote about consent and how we shouldn't assume the answer is yes until they are told no: “When a woman is assaulted, one of the first questions people ask is, Did you say no? This question assumes that the answer was always yes, and that it is her job to revoke the agreement. To defuse the bomb she was given. But why are they allowed to touch us until we physically fight them off? Why is the door open until we have to slam it shut?” “Cosby, 60. Weinstein, 87. Nassar, 169. The news used phrases like avalanche of accusations, tsunami of stories, sea change. The metaphors were correct in that they were catastrophic, devastating. But it was wrong to compare them to natural disasters, for they were not natural at all, solely man-made. Call it a tsunami, but do not lose sight of the fact that each life is a single drop, how many drops it took to make a single wave. The loss is incomprehensible, staggering, maddening—we should have caught it when it was no more than a drip. Instead society is flooded with survivors coming forward, dozens for every man, just so that one day, in his old age, he might feel a taste of what it was like for them all along.” This book was a heavy, sad read that is so honest it breaks your heart, but it is so relevant and so important and one of the best nonfiction books I have ever read.
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  • Sana
    January 1, 1970
    I still remember reading her statement back in 2016 and the feelings it evoked so I cannot even imagine how much more powerful and impactful this would be
  • Elyse Walters
    January 1, 1970
    Audiobook...read by the author, Chanel MillerChanel wrote an exceptional unflinchingly honest - memoir....with personal gut-wrenching details. I COULD NOT PULL AWAY!!!One does not need to be a victim of sexual assault - to feel its power.Michael Aaron Persky - American attorney and former judge became the first judge to be recalled in California in over 80 years....after international widespread criticism of his ridiculously lenient sentencing — Brock Turner was convicted of three felony Audiobook...read by the author, Chanel MillerChanel wrote an exceptional unflinchingly honest - memoir....with personal gut-wrenching details. I COULD NOT PULL AWAY!!!One does not need to be a victim of sexual assault - to feel its power.Michael Aaron Persky - American attorney and former judge became the first judge to be recalled in California in over 80 years....after international widespread criticism of his ridiculously lenient sentencing — Brock Turner was convicted of three felony charges. He was given only 6 months jail punishment....then served only three months jail time. “Judicial independence is a critical part of the U.S. justice system. The immense power that comes with judicial independence also comes with accountability to the people we serve”.Chanel Miller served the people..... and this was a young shy young woman. “How badly she wanted to feel unfazed”. Ha!Chanel: Thank you for your bravery—telling us your story ‘with’ your real name—and for making a transformational difference in our judicial system! Eloquently written! Sincerely a gifted writer. MUST SAY IT AGAIN...Chanel Miller is a gifted skilled writer ( besides the gut wrenching facts) 5++++ stars
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Can't say enough good things about this one. More thoughts about it here: https://openlettersreview.com/posts/k...
  • BookOfCinz
    January 1, 1970
    Updated November 20, 2019.I decided to read Know My Name for BookOfCinz November read because I felt it beyond important. I have no words. I was moved to tears and anger so many times while reading this book. I don't know why in the year 2019 women are still fighting this battle. Chanel Miller is one brave woman, I can not even begin to imagine or put into word her bravery. I have so much to say, but I feel like its been said already by much more eloquent persons. I do recommend EVERYONE Updated November 20, 2019.I decided to read Know My Name for BookOfCinz November read because I felt it beyond important. I have no words. I was moved to tears and anger so many times while reading this book. I don't know why in the year 2019 women are still fighting this battle. Chanel Miller is one brave woman, I can not even begin to imagine or put into word her bravery. I have so much to say, but I feel like its been said already by much more eloquent persons. I do recommend EVERYONE especially men read this book. This required reading and I wish everyone who picks up this book learns from it and do their part. The judge had given Brock something that would never be extended to me: empathy. Why this book is important.
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  • Schizanthus Nerd
    January 1, 1970
    You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today. Chanel Miller was raped on Sunday, 18 January 2015.I was raped three days earlier (80 hours before Chanel was, if you take time zones into account). Once I saw that date in print and realised how little time separated our experiences, I couldn’t help but see her story personally. So this is going to be a different review than I would usually write. Feel free to skip the You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today. Chanel Miller was raped on Sunday, 18 January 2015.I was raped three days earlier (80 hours before Chanel was, if you take time zones into account). Once I saw that date in print and realised how little time separated our experiences, I couldn’t help but see her story personally. So this is going to be a different review than I would usually write. Feel free to skip the bits where I talk about me.Chanel learned what happened to her at the same time as the rest of the world. She was treated in a hospital, endured the indignity of a rape kit and spoke to a detective who believed and didn’t judge her. This sexual assault gained worldwide attention but it was Brock Turner’s name we knew; Chanel’s identity was erased. The trial resulted in guilty verdicts on three counts but, in my view, the punishment did not fit the crime; it may as well have been a slap on the wrist.The detective who ultimately decided I would not step foot in a court room reviewed my statement and asked me, “How is that even possible?!” They didn’t make contact with the man who raped me but did phone my psychologist to ask if I have a mental illness that would cause me to make up something like this and oh, by the way, the description I told the police matched the description I told my psychologist. I also privately reported the rape to two other relevant institutions in the hope that speaking up would prevent this from happening again. Those two institutions told the man who raped me what I had said; this resulted in two threats from him to take legal action against me. For telling the truth. In Australia, where defamation laws are beyond insane. I didn’t follow the story of Chanel’s sexual assault in the media. Even still, I knew the words Standford, rape, swimmer. My introduction to this book was via a publisher’s emailed newsletter, which is how I learn about so many of the books I need to read. I wasn’t sure it was for me though, until I ugly cried my way through I Am With You. I needed to know more about this intelligent, creative woman.Still, I waited patiently for my library to purchase a copy. I made it all the way to page 23 before I finally figured out I needed my own copy, one I could highlight to my heart’s content and return to as often as I needed. I don’t know if I’m more grateful or sad that I found this book so relatable.This is Chanel Miller’s story. Author. Artist. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Girlfriend. Survivor. A woman who has experienced raped, but who is so much more. This is an attempt to transform the hurt inside myself, to confront a past, and find a way to live with and incorporate these memories. I want to leave them behind so I can move forward. In not naming them, I finally name myself.My name is Chanel.I am a victim, I have no qualms with this word, only with the idea that it is all that I am. Although our stories are vastly different, so much of Chanel’s story resonated with me. While I hurt for her and was furious on her behalf as I read about her experiences, I was also lifted by her strength, determination and resilience. I had trouble reading some parts, either because they reminded me too much of my own story or, oddly enough, because they didn’t. I needed to step away and distract myself with a children’s book or play with Lego at times, but my overall takeaway from this book is hope.The hope of words reaching out to me and encouraging me to hold on when difficult times find me: You have to hold out to see how your life unfolds, because it is most likely beyond what you can imagine. It is not a question of if you will survive this, but what beautiful things await you when you do. The hope that comes in the form of a narrative that doesn’t sugar coat what recovery from trauma looks and feels like: As a survivor, I feel a duty to provide a realistic view of the complexity of recovery. The hope that therapy can offer: It feels better when the story is outside myself. Although I don’t know Chanel I feel like I got to know her as I read her story; this is a woman I would want to be friends with. I loved being introduced to Chanel’s family and friends, and want to personally thank every single person who has supported, encouraged and validated her. My heart grew several sizes as I read about professionals who exuded empathy and compassion. Sure, there were others I wanted to slap, but the ones who went above and beyond reminded me that there are people out there who can soften the blow when trauma finds you.Chanel truly is a writer. She can paint a scene so vivid that I felt I was inside it. She took me on an emotional journey with her; I may have felt it more because I was revisiting my own at the same time but I think I would have felt the highs and lows regardless. I want to recommend this book to everyone, but especially to those whose professions bring them into contact with victims of sexual assault, whose responses can either provide validation or add to the trauma. This book does not have a happy ending. The happy part is there is no ending, because I’ll always find a way to keep going. If I were Chanel I don’t think I would ever want to read another word written about me. I’m just so proud of her though. Chanel, if you ever read this, please know that I believe you and I am with you.Although I’ve never attempted anything like what Chanel has accomplished here I have needed to write statements that include the details of sexual assault and know how impossible it can feel both to find the right words and to revisit memories with sharp edges. Chanel has done an incredible job and I’m really look forward to reading whatever she writes in the future.Content warnings include mention of suicide and sexual assault.If you need support or information relating to sexual assault, you can contact:* RAINN (America) - www.rainn.org - chat online or call 800.656.HOPE* 1800RESPECT (Australia) - www.1800respect.org.au - chat online or call 1800 737 732You can also search for resources in over a hundred countries at:* HotPeachPages - www.hotpeachpages.netPlease know that it was not your fault, you are not alone and I believe you. 💜
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  • Rachel Reads Ravenously
    January 1, 1970
    Nonfiction November is a month long reading initiative that challenges you to read four or more nonfiction books during the month of November. 5 stars This is the powerful memoir of Chanel Miller, also known as Emily Doe, the woman who was sexually assaulted by Brock Turner.In this book Chanel details the events surrounding her trial and after, and the impact this sexual assault had on her life. The entire book my heart went out to this young woman for the unfairness of everything that Nonfiction November is a month long reading initiative that challenges you to read four or more nonfiction books during the month of November. 5 stars This is the powerful memoir of Chanel Miller, also known as Emily Doe, the woman who was sexually assaulted by Brock Turner.In this book Chanel details the events surrounding her trial and after, and the impact this sexual assault had on her life. The entire book my heart went out to this young woman for the unfairness of everything that happened to her. I listened to the audiobook of this, which is read by Chanel. There were a couple of times when I was listening on my commute when I began to cry. My heart broke for this woman and everything she went through.This book is the must read book of the decade. You must read it and hear her story.Follow me on ♥ Facebook ♥ Blog ♥ Instagram ♥ Twitter ♥
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    Chanel Miller’s memoir Know My Name is aptly titled; the name Brock Turner is known by most Americans who watch the news, while Miller was known for years only as ‘Emily Doe,’ the nameless, faceless girl that he attempted to rape at a Stanford frat party in January 2015. Turner’s case gained notoriety after his sentencing where he received only 6 months of prison time – he only served 3 – and Miller’s victim impact statement was published to Buzzfeed, receiving millions of hits and sparking Chanel Miller’s memoir Know My Name is aptly titled; the name Brock Turner is known by most Americans who watch the news, while Miller was known for years only as ‘Emily Doe,’ the nameless, faceless girl that he attempted to rape at a Stanford frat party in January 2015. Turner’s case gained notoriety after his sentencing where he received only 6 months of prison time – he only served 3 – and Miller’s victim impact statement was published to Buzzfeed, receiving millions of hits and sparking conversations about sexual assault on college campuses, as well as the lenient sentences that privileged young men receive. In September 2019, Miller finally broke her anonymity, appearing on 60 Minutes and publishing this memoir.Miller’s memoir isn’t only extraordinary for the fact that, for female victims, putting yourself out there necessarily means abuse, dismissal, and violated privacy; it’s extraordinary because it is a damn good book. It’s clear-eyed while still being pointed and righteously furious; it’s razor-sharp and compassionate in equal measure; it’s deeply personal and macrocosmic all at once. This memoir highlights the impact and recovery process for sexual assault, with Miller stressing that it isn’t a simple road with a happy ending. That said, she wants to make it clear that she writes for victims above all others, hoping her honesty will touch others who have lived through similar horrors. Know My Name is an accomplished, impressively self-aware piece of writing that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to everyone who can stomach the subject matter. (I listened to the audiobook which Miller herself narrates, and I cannot recommend that highly enough.)
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  • Alysha DeShaé
    January 1, 1970
    2019.09.25I've calmed down a bit since I wrote my very short letter/review to Chanel last night. I'm still raw and emotional, though, but I feel that I managed to type up something a little more like a review.But how do you review a book like this? "I liked the part where she talked about how painful everything is." What? Really?! Like, it's all painful! And you liked it? Geez, okay. ... See? It's hard. It's especially hard when you know exactly how hard it is to come forward with something like 2019.09.25I've calmed down a bit since I wrote my very short letter/review to Chanel last night. I'm still raw and emotional, though, but I feel that I managed to type up something a little more like a review.But how do you review a book like this? "I liked the part where she talked about how painful everything is." What? Really?! Like, it's all painful! And you liked it? Geez, okay. ... See? It's hard. It's especially hard when you know exactly how hard it is to come forward with something like this. It's even harder when you realize that you don't know how hard it was to live through her experience because maybe you weren't as brave as she was.So, below is my attempt at a proper review. I'm leaving my letter at the bottom because maybe Chanel will read it. Maybe it will bring her a smile to know that she helped just one more person. Maybe, just maybe, it will help her. She talks about the internet comments she would read during the trial and then about the comments she saw when her victim statement was published. Maybe she's still reading the comments. And if so, Chanel, again, thank you.-----So everyone remembers #StanfordRapistBrockTurner, right? And how the victim was often just "unconscious woman" or Emily Doe because she wanted to remain anonymous?The woman he attacked is no longer anonymous. Her name is Chanel Miller. She is a badass survivor and a personal hero of mine. Chanel has also written a book about the entire experience.The book is painful, raw, heartbreaking, and hard to read. I cried through the majority of it. I broke down completely through the last third of the book. Ugly crying. Sobbing. Screaming. I had a panic attack.Some survivors may want to avoid this book. But so many more will, I believe, feel empowered by Chanel's words. Reading her account of everything (from the day of the party through her attacker's release from jail through the aftermath of it all) is cathartic, in a way. Chanel definitely describes every aspect of everything she can. There are graphic details in this book. They are painful and ugly and hard to hear. They are what Chanel deals with daily. They are what other survivors deal with every second of their lives.I firmly believe that if you think you're the kind of person who doesn't need to read this book that you're the kind of person who needs to read it the most.If you care about victims' and women's rights, you need to read this book. Chanel Miller used the fuck out of her voice and it's the best thing I've seen in a while.-----2019.09.24To Chanel Miller:I cannot properly review your book at the moment. It's powerful. It's brutal. It's necessary. It's hard. It's raw. But you know all this. You must know this. Your writing is perfect. Your own voice is brilliant.I ugly cried and loudly sobbed through the last third of your book. It hurt. It ripped open old wounds and triggered a panic attack at one point. There is so much that I can't bring myself talk about, but your words helped. Thank you. Just, thank you.
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  • April (Aprilius Maximus)
    January 1, 1970
    “You have to hold out to see how your life unfolds, because it is most likely beyond what you can imagine. It is not a question of if you will survive this, but what beautiful things await you when you do.” ・゚: *・゚:* 5 s t a r s *:・゚*:・゚One of the most powerful, well-written memoirs I've ever read and one I will definitely be purchasing for my shelves. “What we needed to raise in others was this instinct. The ability to recognize, in an instant, right from wrong. The clarity of mind to face it “You have to hold out to see how your life unfolds, because it is most likely beyond what you can imagine. It is not a question of if you will survive this, but what beautiful things await you when you do.” ✧・゚: *✧・゚:* 5 s t a r s *:・゚✧*:・゚✧One of the most powerful, well-written memoirs I've ever read and one I will definitely be purchasing for my shelves. “What we needed to raise in others was this instinct. The ability to recognize, in an instant, right from wrong. The clarity of mind to face it rather than ignore it. I learned that before they had chased Brock, they had checked on me. Masculinity is often defined by physicality, but that initial kneeling is as powerful as the leg sweep, the tackling. Masculinity is found in the vulnerability, the crying.” trigger warnings: sexual assault, rape.
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  • Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    This is the memoir of the woman who was raped by Brock Turner. She remained anonymous in the initial report but now she has come forward not just with a name but also with a story.I think I need to read this.
  • Erin (from Long Island, NY)
    January 1, 1970
    Just a quick memo.. I listened to the audiobook & it was the author herself narrating. I loved how absolutely real & guileless she was.. I think it added so much that I definitely think the audio is the way to go with this 1. Great book!
  • Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
    January 1, 1970
    I know this won't be an easy read but I have to read this. I still saw articles yesterday when this book was announced titled stuff like "Victim of Stanford swimmer Brock Turner" so I've made it my life goal to be Philip DeFranco and relentlessly say "convicted rapist" and "Brock Turner" as frequently in the same sentence as possible. We need to remember her name. Chanel Miller. Remember it.
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  • Skyler Autumn
    January 1, 1970
    Dare anyone not to give this book 5 stars.Jokes aside, I don't think you can rate books like this. It's less about the execution, or how "interested" or "entertained" you are while reading. Its just about sharing these stories, and this is definitely a story that needs to be shared.
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  • Jeanette
    January 1, 1970
    American women have made great progress in many respects since 1971 when Helen Reddy sang:“I am woman, hear me roar, in numbers too big to ignore.” But no matter how much we roar, we still can’t seem to get any real traction when it comes to sexual assault and harassment. When women seek justice, the man is often seen as the victim. The woman is vilified and blamed. How dare she try to ruin his reputation and derail him from his career path? She shouldn’t have been drinking. She shouldn’t have American women have made great progress in many respects since 1971 when Helen Reddy sang:“I am woman, hear me roar, in numbers too big to ignore.” But no matter how much we roar, we still can’t seem to get any real traction when it comes to sexual assault and harassment. When women seek justice, the man is often seen as the victim. The woman is vilified and blamed. How dare she try to ruin his reputation and derail him from his career path? She shouldn’t have been drinking. She shouldn’t have been dressed that way. She shouldn’t have gone outside alone. She shouldn’t have gone into a room with him alone. As if a man has no will or agency of his own. The attitude is essentially, “She made him do it, and therefore he should not be punished." Either that, or “She’s lying. We know him and he would never do that.”So here we sit in 2019, feeling like the outlook is bleak for our little sisters coming up in the world. And yet there is reason for hope. With her bold and potent voice and considerable writing chops, Chanel Miller speaks out for women down through millennia who have been debased and degraded and had their lives permanently altered by sexual abuse and assault. She didn't ask for this task, but she rose to the occasion to say, in effect, I am not 'Emily Doe.' I am Chanel Miller. I will not let myself and my womanhood be defined by the media, or social media, or Brock Turner, or the ass-backwards wrong-side-up judicial system. I will not disappear. I will not be silenced. Hear me roar.With almost surgical precision, Miller dissects every event associated with the night she was attacked by Brock Turner outside a frat house at Stanford University. She has a gift for storytelling and a remarkable ability to find words for emotions we have all felt but couldn't find a way to express. We become witness to the details of a victim's life, details that are usually kept private out of shame or fear or embarrassment. Chanel's life was turned inside out by the assault, the trial, and the media coverage. She bounced around a lot, hopping back and forth from coast to coast, just trying to hold her life together. At the time I'm sure it felt chaotic for her to be zinging around like a fart in a skillet, but she was doing exactly what she needed to do to nourish her soul while hanging in limbo awaiting justice. She relied heavily on her boyfriend Lucas, who deserves the medal for Most Supportive Boyfriend. Lesser men would have dumped her and said, "I didn't sign up for this." Miller is also blessed with a supportive family who gave her the space and time she needed to regain her balance. Her Chinese mother fled the Cultural Revolution, and she is a model of strength and optimism for her daughter. We who have had our lives dramatically altered by physical or emotional trauma want desperately for people to know who we were before the events that changed us forever. We feel like others cannot fully know who we are now unless they understand who we were before. We want to say,“This isn’t me, this person you see before you. I was outgoing, I was athletic, I was fun, I was adventuresome, I was playful, I was fearless, I was full of the dickens, I was always on the go.I’m not this thing that misfortune has made of me.”Chanel wants us to know all those things about who she was before the assault, and so there’s an autobiography, of sorts, deftly woven into the story. This structure provides some light relief when the post-trauma circumstances start to weigh heavy on the reader.Shortly after I finished reading this book, I just happened to catch a brief news segment about a young lady named Abby Honold. She was raped at age nineteen at the University of Minnesota. When she reported it, the cops laughed at her and didn't take it seriously. When the cops dropped the charges after a few days, Abby outed her rapist on a blog post. Other women came forward and said he had assaulted them also. Daniel Drill-Mellum was re-arrested and pled guilty to two counts.Now, at age twenty-four, Honold is promoting the Abby Honold Act, which would require that police and other professionals be properly trained to respond to victims of assault and abuse.The courage and fortitude of these two young women gives me at least a glimmer of hope. Could this generation of women, now in their twenties, be the one that brings a sea change? Women are refusing to be erased, diminished, and ignored, as we see with the growing power of the Me Too movement. Am I foolish to believe things can change in any meaningful way? Our measure of progress, or lack thereof, is currently reflected in what we see in Hollywood and Washington, D.C. In Hollywood we have creeps like Harvey Weinstein who have been paying women off for decades to keep them silent, threatening them with loss of career in the movie biz, or worse. In Washington, D.C. we have two credibly accused sexual assaulters/harassers/perjurers sitting on the Supreme Court. One of those men was placed on the Supreme Court by the Sexual Assaulter in Chief currently occupying the White House.This individual in the White House has been credibly accused of sexual assault, including rape, by twenty-four women (and counting). https://www.huffpost.com/entry/a-runn...We have the Access Hollywood video in which he brags about grabbing women by the crotch and getting away with it because “when you’re famous, they let you do it. You can do anything.” This video was made public prior to the 2016 election, as were many of the women’s claims of assault. And yet, millions of American women voted for him, implicitly condoning his utter disregard for and disrespect toward women.Still, we are making progress, inch by inch. More women are running for office, and as we saw in 2018, they win those elections. More women at all levels of government, as well as brave survivors like Chanel and Abby, send a message to girls and women everywhere that they deserve better. If we persevere, we can join our voices until the roar really is too big to ignore.So roar on, Chanel. We see you, we hear you, we know your name. And we are grateful. And now, ladies and gentlemen, Miss Helen Reddy, with an anthem for women everywhere:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rptW7...
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  • Valerity (Val)
    January 1, 1970
    This is the disturbing story about the sexual assault that was all over the news a few years back about the Stanford student who was discovered attacking a woman who was unconscious and partly unclothed outside near a dumpster. A pair of bicyclists came to the aid of the woman, giving chase when the man ran off on seeing them. They first checked to see that the woman was ok before going after him. The victim’s identity was shielded by being known as Emily Doe for a long while, up until trial This is the disturbing story about the sexual assault that was all over the news a few years back about the Stanford student who was discovered attacking a woman who was unconscious and partly unclothed outside near a dumpster. A pair of bicyclists came to the aid of the woman, giving chase when the man ran off on seeing them. They first checked to see that the woman was ok before going after him. The victim’s identity was shielded by being known as Emily Doe for a long while, up until trial when her first name was used. She later outed herself with this excellent book. And of course the perpetrator is the creepy Brock Turner of former swimming note.Miller does a wonderful job of sharing her experiences and trauma of the aftermath following waking up in the hospital after the attack, and the ordeal of getting to and then through the trial. Recommended. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Chanel Miller, and the publisher.
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  • Gabry
    January 1, 1970
    Before I start my review about this book and my thoughts on Chanel's writing, I want to discuss about what happened. Cue thoughts below in a long intro. Before her statement went viral on Buzzfeed, I actually read about what happened in 2015 because the Stanford college newspaper wrote a story about it. At the time, I was in HS and in charge of monitoring my HS newspaper's website, and I used to go through other high schools' newspaper websites, as well as other colleges. I began to naturally Before I start my review about this book and my thoughts on Chanel's writing, I want to discuss about what happened. Cue thoughts below in a long intro. Before her statement went viral on Buzzfeed, I actually read about what happened in 2015 because the Stanford college newspaper wrote a story about it. At the time, I was in HS and in charge of monitoring my HS newspaper's website, and I used to go through other high schools' newspaper websites, as well as other colleges. I began to naturally read stories through them as a daily routine. So the Stanford college newspaper wrote about it, and I remember thinking to myself that I was very relieved that the 2 Swedish guys tackled and caught him right away, and then also that based on what happened, it was very obvious to me that he was guilty (he was caught in the act and tried to escape; she was unconscious the whole time and did not consent). I did not care that he was a star swimmer at all, but instead cared about reading how one of the Swedish men started crying because of what he witnessed Brock did, signified to me obvious guilt. It didn't surprise me he got banned from Stanford; I was glad the university decided that immediately. I also remember reading one of the Stanford OP-EDs where the writer says we shouldn't pin everything on the victim for drinking so much, and I nodded my head in agreement. In summary, what happened seemed to be so obviously wrong, that it would be easy for the punishment to occur and for the victim to heal and feel better about that. Never would I have imagined Brock's family to bring the case to court, and the resulting sentence that came out of it (6 months only, with 3 months being served because he had a potential bright future that "shouldn't be ruined"), even though all jurors declared Brock guilty. Which brings me to my next memory. I remember very distinctly in June 2016 when Buzzfeed published this statement from court the day it came out, the red graphic header with quotes from the trial of how she was questioned; I was eating chow mein for dinner my dad cooked for me, and I sat at the dinner table digesting her words, thinking them over. I read through the whole thing, feeling so much emotion because I thought what was so obviously wrong in 2015 meant that the court case would not be hellish for Emily Doe to go through, but as she recounts what happened in the past year (from when she woke up to how her every action was dissected in court) to Brock's lack of remorse, I realized that my assumptions were wrong and Emily had been through so much BS. I remember the letter going viral immediately after, and I shared the article with friends to read and watched as people on TV read the letter out loud. It's now 2019, and 3 years passed since then with Cosby, #metoo, and so many other news stories happening after the Buzzfeed article being printed. Know My Name has been published in September, as Emily Doe has come out to show her identity as the girl she actually is, Chanel Miller. I'll be totally honest, and admit that even though I am of Asian-American descent, when I first read the letter on Buzzfeed, I assumed Emily Doe's identity as a white woman, even though Chanel Miller is actually of both Chinese and White descent. I know that sometimes when I thought of Emily Doe's letter in the past 3 years, I used to randomly wonder what if she was actually POC this whole time and I had been mischaracterizing her, after reading online that some people found out about Emily Doe's identity before 2019 and started bothering her. This book has taught me a lot of thinking about my biases and assumptions, because Chanel asserts that her Chinese identity is very important to her and how it really bothered her the probation officer labeled her as White.So finally, review time. Know My Name comprises the bulk about the court case Chanel Miller goes through against Brock, but she also reveals other slices of her life as if she is a friend telling us a story. I really appreciated reading these other slices of her life, because they were actually really relevant and familiar. I am going to put things under spoiler tags, not because I believe them to be spoilers, but because of the graphic nature, of things that happened in her high school and college life. (view spoiler)[How Chanel attended Gunn High School, known for the 10 students who died from suicide by train in 10 separate incidents, as well as UCSB shootings by Elliot Rodger, and what it felt like to be a student at that time in fear when it happened, as well as finding Rodger's video and the rage she felt. (hide spoiler)] The Gunn High School recollections as well as the UCSB recollections were really familiar to me, as I have family/friend connections to SB and UCSB, and I also remember in HS reading about what happened in Gunn, and while I didn't go to Gunn I understood a slimmer of the cooker pressure environment and the stress students went through in my competitive high school in SoCal. She talks about these incidents in a respectful manner as she explains how it affected her, and it was nice to see how she didn't mention these as simple one-off incidents, but would also mention them later throughout Know My Name, because you can really tell she cares about these things.After discussing her schooling experiences, Miller then goes on to describe what happened during the Stanford party, as well as the aftermath after when she woke up in the hospital, with the police and hospital workers apparently even being so disturbed by the state of how she found. There is a sinking feeling as Chanel describes her initial unawareness to the extent of what happened to her, until she discovers it at work. I felt a huge need to protect her from what I knew was to come. And when Chanel deals with what happened during the party to her because of Brock Turner, readers will be able to get a more long, detailed version initially laid out in the Buzzfeed statement of what happened to her. She doesn't merely lay out how she had to deal with the police calls, the news stories, etc., as a reader you can really tell how this affects her when she describes the stress she felt trying to protect her family from this at first. This book isn't just a rehash of the Buzzfeed events as it goes more indepth, and that extra depth really had me yelling out loud (literally) at learning how Brock immediately went out on his 100k bail, how his family decided to go to court to fight the charges against Brock, and the comments she read online that blamed her for being a victim. I really, really understood how this all affected her so deeply as if I was someone she knew personally in her life, and I could see the changes of personality she went through because of the BS. The injustice of how Brock is always seen as someone with potential and what a shame it was for this potential Olympian to be stripped of that as described in newspaper outlets, while Chanel as Emily Doe is not even considered of her potential that changes because of Brock.As the court case begins, this book will become a hard emotional read; I'm glad I had an audiobook also to read with the book because I am pretty sure I would have stopped from the moments I became overcome. Brock's lawyer really made me pissed with his comments and I really started yelling again while I was reading (and also listening to the audiobook), as well as how his family literally uses people from Brock's past to testify how he was a good person in HS and how the 'Stanford drinking culture' corrupted him so that's why he made his 'mistake'. It's pretty telling to me when Chanel learns from Stanford police that actually Brock had previously been noticed for some shady things he did before the time of the January party (girls being creeped out by his behavior at another party, besides Chanel's sister being creeped out during the January one), as well as her discovering that he did a lot of partying and drugs in high school. Chanel, however, acknowledges that his drug use in HS is not behavior that explains what he did to her (he can still do drugs and not assault people), but it's pretty telling to me how his family ignored this and pretended he was innocent and allegedly corrupted by Stanford’s culture. (view spoiler)[When the guilty verdict was announced and Brock's mom was so distraught she yelled so loudly in court... (hide spoiler)]I know I read some comments online of people wondering why this book is relevant now a few years later, asking why, but I definitely think it is still very relevant and why not? Chanel shows the good, bad, and the ugly of her processing/coping with what she felt through the past year, from her meanness to her grief, and as a reader, I know she could have hidden these things away and let us see only the good sides, but I appreciate Chanel's message that her story is not so easily shut closed and done. Like it was great to see her comedy career flourish in Pennsylvania as well as how she describes her surprise at the success of her statement in Buzzfeed, but I also liked reading how her loved ones coped with the changes of her personality as she becomes at times withdrawn and combative. Chanel shows us the full range of how she feels, even if she isn't acting in a way some people reading this might consider acceptable behavior.Overall, I'm really glad I read this and this will definitely be a book I think about for a long time. Chanel has shown us the awareness that she has always been here, always listening (though I hope she is reading less negative comments on the internet because I wish to shield her from that ugliness) and has cherished the outpouring of support from those moved by her words. I understand more acutely how and why the Judge's recall happened, as well as people decrying Stanford's actions (seriously, university, you could actually use her QUOTES; the university actions remind me, in a bad way, of Japanese government trying to get comfort woman statues removed), as well as how she explains that even though the Buzzfeed statement has changed the way people view her case now, she still struggles and isn't perfectly on the other side of complete recovery. Chanel's writing and imagery is really lovely to read, and you can see how she is the obvious writer of the Buzzfeed statement, naysayers who believe that she didn't write it at all be shushed. I love reading how influential her Chinese upbringing is to her life, because it really is that important. This book shows to us that even after her case is over, she is still there, still watching as more injustices occur (Philando Castile’s death, Larry Nassar’s victims), and her wish to be a beacon for victims.I honestly felt really deeply moved when she reconnects her mentions of Gunn High School and UCSB at the end, when Chanel thinks she has always wanted to be the person tasked with working to protect students by watching the trains all along, but in this case, for victims everywhere. When she lists the UCSB victims in her acknowledgements, I felt really teary. Thank you to Chanel for writing this, for letting us into your life. I love the cover of this book, the kintsugi aspect of it. And big hugs to her family (from her parents to her sister Tiffany), to her BF Lucas, and all those who know her.
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  • Ameema Saeed
    January 1, 1970
    Just finished Chanel Miller’s memoir (& manifesto) “Know My Name”, and WOW. We knew Chanel Miller was a powerful writer, when we read her victim impact statement on Buzzfeed, on Facebook, picked up by newspapers, and trending around the world, a few years ago, but this book is phenomenal. Searing, vulnerable, incisive, raw, beautiful, unflinching. full of light - this is more than Chanel Miller’s memoir, it is an indictment of the US judicial system; of university & colleges without Just finished Chanel Miller’s memoir (& manifesto) “Know My Name”, and WOW. We knew Chanel Miller was a powerful writer, when we read her victim impact statement on Buzzfeed, on Facebook, picked up by newspapers, and trending around the world, a few years ago, but this book is phenomenal. Searing, vulnerable, incisive, raw, beautiful, unflinching. full of light - this is more than Chanel Miller’s memoir, it is an indictment of the US judicial system; of university & colleges without adequate systems of support for sexual assault victims & survivors; of society, and our perpetuation of rape culture; our failure to prevent harm, & protect survivors. Once known to us as Emily Doe, her words heard around the world, her case familiar to all of us, in “Know My Name” Miller shows her agency clearly - she is strong, & fierce, & still healing. She is a survivor of sexual assault, but more than that, she is a young woman, coming into her own, she is an advocate, a fighter, an artist, a writer, a big sister, a daughter, a friend, a survivor. She is speaking to and for survivors - saying loudly, clearly, firmly: I Am With You. What an incredible, powerful story. A must read, & absolutely one of the best books I’ve ever read. 💖#KnowMyName #ChanelMiller #IAmWithYou #EmilyDoe
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  • Mehrsa
    January 1, 1970
    I'm going to be honest. This book was hard to get through. Not because of the topic, but because it was too long and too repetitive. I really respect Chanel Miller and I cannot believe how lucidly she analyzes her rape, the trial, and everything that followed. Like everyone else, I knew all the facts here, but her analysis is insightful. Still, I wish her editor had helped cut out some of the chapters that were superfluous.
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  • Robin Bonne
    January 1, 1970
    I have a deep respect for Chanel Miller.
  • Kristy K
    January 1, 1970
    Be ready to cry, rage, and cry again. Miller’s story is heartbreaking and inspirational at the same time. I am so proud and in awe of this Emily Doe taking her name and story back. Highly recommend.
  • Natalie Daher
    January 1, 1970
    Clear-eyed, funny, essential account from a woman you'd be lucky to call a friend.
  • Teresa
    January 1, 1970
    ALL THE STARS. Seriously. All. the. Freaking. Stars. “What was unique about this crime, was that the perpetrator could suggest the victim experienced pleasure and people wouldn't bat an eye. There's no such thing as a good stabbing or bad stabbing, consensual murder or nonconsensual murder.” “Little girls don’t stay little forever, Kyle Stephens said. They turn into strong women who return to destroy your world.” Until reading her victim impact statement in 2016, then as Emily Doe, I had never ALL THE STARS. Seriously. All. the. Freaking. Stars. “What was unique about this crime, was that the perpetrator could suggest the victim experienced pleasure and people wouldn't bat an eye. There's no such thing as a good stabbing or bad stabbing, consensual murder or nonconsensual murder.” “Little girls don’t stay little forever, Kyle Stephens said. They turn into strong women who return to destroy your world.” Until reading her victim impact statement in 2016, then as Emily Doe, I had never heard of this case or Brock Turner. And reading that, it's a moment I can clearly remember. Sitting at my desk, tears in my eyes, rage boiling over, and in awe of the eloquence of this woman. But I honestly never thought to ever know her real name or who she was (and just taking a brief moment to comment on how amazing the declarative title is). After everything she has been through, she deserved that privacy. She did not owe the public a thing. For her to make the decision to come into the light, to reclaim her name, to re-live such truly awful moments in order to try to help others understand what a victim goes through in the US, while also tackling racism, privilege (was there ever a more White Male Privilege model than Brock Turner??), social injustices, toxic masculinity... I almost have no words. And yet, I want so many words to express how important, amazing, and powerful, this book is. How everyone should it read. How it should be required reading. I felt every hurt, every bit of rage, and yet it is a beautifully triumphant book. It was clear from her victim impact statement that Chanel was a talented writer. It is utterly sad that this had to be the way she was first published. I hope she is able to write more in the future.
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  • Jenna Bookish
    January 1, 1970
    “I survived because I remained soft, because I listened, because I wrote. Because I huddled close to my truth, protected it like a tiny flame in a terrible storm. Hold up your head when the tears come, when you are mocked, insulted, questioned, threatened, when they tell you you are nothing, when your body is reduced to openings. The journey will be longer than you imagined, trauma will find you again and again. Do not become the ones who hurt you. Stay tender with your power. Never fight to “I survived because I remained soft, because I listened, because I wrote. Because I huddled close to my truth, protected it like a tiny flame in a terrible storm. Hold up your head when the tears come, when you are mocked, insulted, questioned, threatened, when they tell you you are nothing, when your body is reduced to openings. The journey will be longer than you imagined, trauma will find you again and again. Do not become the ones who hurt you. Stay tender with your power. Never fight to injure, fight to uplift. Fight because you know that in this life, you deserve safety, joy, and freedom. Fight because it is your life. Not anyone else’s. I did it, I am here. Looking back, all the ones who doubted or hurt or nearly conquered me faded away, and I am the only one standing. So now, the time has come. I dust myself off, and go on.”Let me start this review with a big fat (relatively obvious) trigger warning for sexual assault. Miller is not able to remember the assault itself, so you will not find graphic descriptions of it in this book, but the discussion of the aftermath when she awoke in the hospital can be disturbing. There is also a good deal of discussion of victim blaming, including quoted examples. So while I do absolutely recommend this book, it comes with the disclaimer that it will try your emotional fortitude. Miller's writing is eloquent and emotionally evocative. She remained anonymous for the duration of Brock Turner's trial, and while this was for her protection, it had the effect of dehumanizing her to a certain portion of the public, from garden variety misogynists to women who felt the need to emotionally distance themselves from Miller in order to feel safe. (I.e., "If it happened to her, there must be something wrong with her. That would never happen to me.") Miller's victim impact statement (previously published anonymously online and included in full at the end of Know My Name) and this book have the effect of returning her voice and agency to her in a way that's really powerful. While the sexual assault and trail which resulted from it are the focus of this book, it also touches on current events and how Miller's experience effected her perception. From the infamous "grab 'em by the pussy" Trump tape to the #metoo movement, to Christine Blasey Ford's testimony about Brett Kavanaugh, Miller's experience as a sexual assault victim could turn the nightly news into a huge psychological trigger. These ventures from the personal into the political never felt forced; they were in impactful part of her experience and the often blasé public reaction to sexual assault allegations is something that bears thinking about until things change. What do we tell victims when "grab 'em by the pussy" is dismissed as "locker room talk?" What do we tell young girls? “Cosby, 60. Weinstein, 87. Nassar, 169. The news used phrases like avalanche of accusations, tsunami of stories, sea change. The metaphors were correct in that they were catastrophic, devastating. But it was wrong to compare them to natural disasters, for they were not natural at all, solely man-made. Call it a tsunami, but do not lose sight of the fact that each life is a single drop, how many drops it took to make a single wave. The loss is incomprehensible, staggering, maddening—we should have caught it when it was no more than a drip. Instead society is flooded with survivors coming forward, dozens for every man, just so that one day, in his old age, he might feel a taste of what it was like for them all along.”This book moved me to tears multiple times. Miller does the narration for the audio book, and if you listen to audio books at all, I highly recommend opting for that format for this title.  You can read all of my reviews on my blog, Jenna Bookish!Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr
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  • Sabrina
    January 1, 1970
    I want to push this book into the hands of so many, perhaps most of all the ones who are unlikely to read it. To the many people who have questioned my judgment when I've talked about the way rape culture impacts and frightens me; to the men who have told me their biggest fear is to be falsely accused, how it would ruin them; to those who have said that sexual assault can't be that bad, as evidenced by how few go to trial; to the guy in my master's program who, just last month, recounted his I want to push this book into the hands of so many, perhaps most of all the ones who are unlikely to read it. To the many people who have questioned my judgment when I've talked about the way rape culture impacts and frightens me; to the men who have told me their biggest fear is to be falsely accused, how it would ruin them; to those who have said that sexual assault can't be that bad, as evidenced by how few go to trial; to the guy in my master's program who, just last month, recounted his friend's assault over lunch to a group of women like it was a juicy piece of gossip, and decided to finish the story even after I told him to stop.This book is an education in how damaging rape culture is, the many people it affects, and how the process is not linear or logical. I feel like I learned a lot from her, and also felt I could see myself in her words.In the audiobook, she reads her victim impact statement at the end, and you can hear her take staggering breaths and suppress sobs. It destroyed me. This memoir is raw and powerful and if you are able to read it, I cannot recommend it more highly.
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  • Maggie Chidester
    January 1, 1970
    No words....wow. Just no words.
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