Disclaimer: This book was kindly gifted to me by Penguin Random House SA in exchange for an honest review.
Chanel Miller 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.
With this book she now 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.
From the beginning of the book, Chanel knows exactly how to catch the readers attention. Her writing style is simple, straight to the point yet very detailed. With those details she captures her feelings precisely from the day everything happened to her life afterwards. I really enjoyed how detailed she went about the case and with that as a reader you are able to see what exactly goes behind the scenes of a rape case. From reading this book I now know a little bit about cases.
She goes into details with the differentiation of the treatment projected towards the victim. How all the questions asked were not really there to elicit the truth but to ensure that the accuser was not found guilty. How all the questions were not related to the assault but everything was made to be her fault. That was really eye opening for me. With this book Chanel documents the brutality of entitlement i.e. he assaulted but hes a good swimmer etc. But these were never mentioned about her just because she’s the victim in the story.
I’d highly recommend this book to everyone, please read it (or read her letter that went viral here). This broke me a lot.
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.
Title: Know My Name; Author: Chanel Miller; Originally Published: 24 September 2019; Publisher: Penguin Random House; Genres: Memoir, Biography, Autobiography; Page Count: 357; Nominations: Goodreads Choice Awards Best Memoir & Autobiography
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