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Know My Name

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The riveting, powerful memoir of the woman whose statement to Brock Turner gave voice to millions of survivors 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, w The riveting, powerful memoir of the woman whose statement to Brock Turner gave voice to millions of survivors 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.


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The riveting, powerful memoir of the woman whose statement to Brock Turner gave voice to millions of survivors 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, w The riveting, powerful memoir of the woman whose statement to Brock Turner gave voice to millions of survivors 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.

30 review for Know My Name

  1. 4 out of 5

    chinomso ♡

    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.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    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 d 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.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sana

    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

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alysha DeShaé

    2019.09.25 I'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 w 2019.09.25 I'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. ----- 2019.09.24 To 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.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ☠️ Hecka Wicked ☠️ Campbell

    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.

  6. 4 out of 5

    April (Aprilius Maximus)

    “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 “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.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard

    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.

  8. 5 out of 5

    BookOfCinz

    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. 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.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Gabry

    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 re 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.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Daher

    Clear-eyed, funny, essential account from a woman you'd be lucky to call a friend.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ameema Saeed

    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 adeq 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

  12. 5 out of 5

    Robin Bonne

    I have a deep respect for Chanel Miller.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Emily Mccullough

    I read this entire book in one sitting. Chanel Miller has such a raw and powerful voice that carries us step by step through her horrifying experience. I felt like I was her. Like I'd slipped into her skin. That's how intimate her writing is. Her story made me cry. Her story made me angry, thinking about my own past of sexual abuse and that this is the norm for women. We grow up expecting for someone to try and assault us at some point. It's not a matter of 'if' but 'when.' My heart bleeds for C I read this entire book in one sitting. Chanel Miller has such a raw and powerful voice that carries us step by step through her horrifying experience. I felt like I was her. Like I'd slipped into her skin. That's how intimate her writing is. Her story made me cry. Her story made me angry, thinking about my own past of sexual abuse and that this is the norm for women. We grow up expecting for someone to try and assault us at some point. It's not a matter of 'if' but 'when.' My heart bleeds for Chanel that she had to go through this. My heart bleeds for anyone who goes through this. But I'm so glad Chanel is taking back her voice. To force others to listen to what she has to say and recount her own narrative, not one a court tried to spit out for her. No woman deserves to be raped behind a dumpster or wake up in a hospital not remembering how she got there. And it's sad we live in a world where people like Brock Turner walk away with little consequences. I'm just so happy that there are people like Chanel in the world. Who fight and give words to victims who didn't have the power to do so on their own or didn't have the opportunity. Chanel's bravery and strength is awe inspiring and I hope she continues to carve her name into every facet of the world so we all know how truly courageous she is. That she's more than an unnamed victim. More than a news headline. She's a living, breathing person who deserved better. And I hope nothing but wonderful things head her way.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Karen Chaney Long

    Powerful but drones on I remember when this was in the news and as a Me Too, was very angry at Brock about using "the poor jock whose life was over because of being accused of rape." I'm glad I read your book. Very informative on the degrading legal system. What I didn't like was all the rehashing of the story line. But I get. That is what it takes to get thru all the mess. I am truly sorry for your loss Ms. Chanel. I'm 67 now and my rape happened when I was 5 thru 17. I tried to tell. No Powerful but drones on I remember when this was in the news and as a Me Too, was very angry at Brock about using "the poor jock whose life was over because of being accused of rape." I'm glad I read your book. Very informative on the degrading legal system. What I didn't like was all the rehashing of the story line. But I get. That is what it takes to get thru all the mess. I am truly sorry for your loss Ms. Chanel. I'm 67 now and my rape happened when I was 5 thru 17. I tried to tell. No one would ever listen. It still colors my decisions today. I have a great productive life but it is still in there.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Chidester

    No words....wow. Just no words.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    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 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.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    I vividly remember the story of two guys on bicycles who stopped a Stanford freshman from further sexually assaulting an unresponsive, half naked woman, behind a dumpster. This in her story. Her writing is elegant, powerful, searing, unapologetic and masterful. This book offers many takeaways but I will mention three. 1. HAVING NO MEMORY OF AN ASSAULT CAN MAKE IT WORSE. Chanel had no idea what happened to her until weeks later when she read about it in a newspaper and her amnesia allowed the rap I vividly remember the story of two guys on bicycles who stopped a Stanford freshman from further sexually assaulting an unresponsive, half naked woman, behind a dumpster. This in her story. Her writing is elegant, powerful, searing, unapologetic and masterful. This book offers many takeaways but I will mention three. 1. HAVING NO MEMORY OF AN ASSAULT CAN MAKE IT WORSE. Chanel had no idea what happened to her until weeks later when she read about it in a newspaper and her amnesia allowed the rapist to be in total control of the narrative. 2. IT IS STILL A MAN’S WORLD Brock claimed she enjoyed the assault, his father argued that 20 mins of bad behavior should not ruin his life, and he only got 6 months in county jail. 3. JUSTICE IS SLOW. Eventually Chanel’s stunning victim statement went viral and her words changed the way we talk about sexual violence, the judge was eventually recalled, and this book was written.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Diane Yannick

    Chanel, I applaud you for telling your story your way. You waited until you were ready then you told it with details and clarity. You didn’t try to make yourself look good by minimizing your missteps prior to the assault. You just laid it out there and proceeded to tell your truth. You never stood a fair chance against the “Stanford Swimmer” with the bright future. Yet, you believed in the system and played by their rules. Your life was put on hold and forever changed by a man who could not take Chanel, I applaud you for telling your story your way. You waited until you were ready then you told it with details and clarity. You didn’t try to make yourself look good by minimizing your missteps prior to the assault. You just laid it out there and proceeded to tell your truth. You never stood a fair chance against the “Stanford Swimmer” with the bright future. Yet, you believed in the system and played by their rules. Your life was put on hold and forever changed by a man who could not take responsibility for his inexcusable actions. Yet, your beautiful, tortured words became a victim’s impact statement that changed attitudes and a jaded judge’s future. Your experience coupled with your writing prowess gave us unprecedented insights into your inescapable personal hell. I can see why many readers may want to shield themselves from this recounting of an attack and its aftermath BUT if you haven’t read the victim’s impact statement, do look that up and read it. I hope that it continues to be widely read. I feel certain that women who have been assaulted will find validation. Women who have not will gain empathy. Men need to read it just because they’re men.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cass Rae

    This book was absolutely amazing and devastating at the same time. You could feel her pain throughout every word. Though I would typically read a book like this in a day or two, I continuously had to put it down and take a breath as it was difficult to read such an emotional testimony. But I continued reading because it is so so important that we read this story and understand what victims endure in our broken justice system. I wholeheartedly believe this book will become a defining piece of lit This book was absolutely amazing and devastating at the same time. You could feel her pain throughout every word. Though I would typically read a book like this in a day or two, I continuously had to put it down and take a breath as it was difficult to read such an emotional testimony. But I continued reading because it is so so important that we read this story and understand what victims endure in our broken justice system. I wholeheartedly believe this book will become a defining piece of literature for our generation.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Elle Rudy

    We are a society obsessed with monsters. We track mass murderers like athletes, each snuffed life another tally added to their total stats. Serial killers receive their own classification, often including sexual transgressions. They’re followed and discussed, known by name, number of victims, means of violence, etc. We learn about their families, their mindset, their jobs, their lives. We learn the entire person, culminating in the human-shaped creature staring back at us through our screens. We We are a society obsessed with monsters. We track mass murderers like athletes, each snuffed life another tally added to their total stats. Serial killers receive their own classification, often including sexual transgressions. They’re followed and discussed, known by name, number of victims, means of violence, etc. We learn about their families, their mindset, their jobs, their lives. We learn the entire person, culminating in the human-shaped creature staring back at us through our screens. We call them monsters because it’s easier than admitting they’re people, a product of the same world that created you and me and everyone else. In our obsession with the offender, the offended are often diminished & forgotten. For those who are able to speak, we only ask them to relive the same terrible episode over and over again. This is why so many refuse the distinction of ‘victim’. Not because they weren’t harmed or victimized, but because it feels reductive. Nobody wants to be thought of as just a vessel to which terrible things are done. This book is about Emily Doe, how she came to be and who she is now. It’s about Chanel Miller, the person who was reclaimed from Emily’s trauma. They are one and the same, and in so many ways, they are us as well. This is not the story of the assailant. He is a player in it, a character, a catalyst, but not the subject. Everyone who reads this memoir will already know his name, so I’ve taken the title as instructional: this review will only bear her’s. We expect so much from survivors purely for our own peace of mind. Yes, the personal growth Miller acquires in the few years after her assault is greater than most of us could hope to reach in our lifetimes, but this is not a book that exists for us to harvest inspiration & exaltation for ourselves and then be on our way. Chanel lets us fall deeply into her fear and sadness. Into her aimlessness and devastated denials. She’s frequently lost and compartmentalized. There’s resilience, but consistently she is nearly swallowed by feelings of hopelessness. But what she described that most resonated was the anger. In her own words, in her own head she is free to be livid. She is free to vent frustrations with nearly every part of the punishing system that was built to accommodate the perpetrator, not the victimized. My rage echos her rage; her pain is all of our pain. But that fury doesn’t stay nicely contained with in her, it seeps out into every moment of her life. Every injustice thrust upon her without consent is waiting to be unleashed on the unsuspecting. Yelling back at street harassers feels cathartic after being picked at and degraded by your attacker’s attorney for hours on end. Let everyone fear the wrath of a woman silenced. Miller does not dress her distress up in a way that makes it more palatable for us. That would be a disservice. She is not a “perfect victim” because that person does not exist. Eventually she does recover most of herself, returning to the body of the girl she had to rebuild from scratch. Reading her testaments is difficult, but crucial. I can’t remember the last time I read something this slowly; I wanted to absorb every word. Chanel Miller is an immensely talented writer, regardless of the subject matter. I know she has plenty to say, and I hope we get to hear more. So many along the way tried to snatch her voice or repurpose it for their own narratives. For this reason, I will end with her words that Stanford promised to post on campus, then reneged in because they weren’t “uplifting” enough. I’m going to have to disagree with that assessment. ”You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today.”

  21. 4 out of 5

    Livi

    It is hard to put into words what "Know My Name" has done for me. As an English major and creative writer, I am enamored by the artistry Chanel possesses-- a skill I immediately noticed when reading her statement published by Buzzfeed and appreciate even more in her beautiful book. There are so many beautiful, powerful lines throughout this book that feel like works of art within a masterpiece of creative non-fiction. My favorite quote from the book is as follows: "When I listened to her [my mot It is hard to put into words what "Know My Name" has done for me. As an English major and creative writer, I am enamored by the artistry Chanel possesses-- a skill I immediately noticed when reading her statement published by Buzzfeed and appreciate even more in her beautiful book. There are so many beautiful, powerful lines throughout this book that feel like works of art within a masterpiece of creative non-fiction. My favorite quote from the book is as follows: "When I listened to her [my mother], I understood: 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. I had to believe her, because she was living proof. Then she said, 'Good and bad things come from the universe holding hands. Wait for the good to come.'" I literally sobbed through this portion. Chanel and her mother should both be proud of their eloquence, wisdom, and skill in crafting the written word. I will read this in the future when life feels bleak or my pain too heavy and remind myself that the world will be beautiful again, I just have to make it through the pain first. After learning about Turner only facing 3 months of jail, I remember being angry; however, reading KMN gave me a deeper insight into how terribly wronged Chanel was by Turner, his family, his lawyers, Stanford, and the U.S. legal system. This is something we do not talk enough about, but Chanel had the courage to step out into the light, baring her soul to us, knowing many will try to silence her narrative. I am grateful for her bravery, her sacrifice because she cast a bright spot in my life as a fellow victim of sexual abuse. She reminded me that it is okay to not be okay and that is not something anyone has ever told me with what happened to me. I will recommend this book to every person I know because not only is it beautifully crafted, but it conveys important messages about consent, victim-blaming, sexual-shaming, privilege, and the unfair conditions women have to encounter as they participate in life. I feel I am a better person for reading this book and I don't say that with most of the literature I read. I will be a lifelong fan of Chanel and will support any literary or artistic endeavors she pursues in the future. She is my hero, both in honestly portraying what life is like following assault and for crafting a technically flawless book. If Chanel ever reads my silly review, I hope she knows that both Chanel Miller and Emily Doe are strong, capable, powerful forces to be reckoned with. I am in awe of their fortitude, humility, and compassion in the face of such suffering and humiliation.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Katherine "Kj" Joslin

    Honestly one of the Best/Worst books I have read. This young lady is so articulate and so profound that I enjoyed reading her memoir even when the topic was so very difficult to hear. The book not only goes into her victimization but the eventual effects on her family, her relationship, her future and how the "system" consistently added to that victimization. It was, however, not all terrible. She is so smart and hopeful still and I loved how this book seemed to be her reclaiming her life. Sadly Honestly one of the Best/Worst books I have read. This young lady is so articulate and so profound that I enjoyed reading her memoir even when the topic was so very difficult to hear. The book not only goes into her victimization but the eventual effects on her family, her relationship, her future and how the "system" consistently added to that victimization. It was, however, not all terrible. She is so smart and hopeful still and I loved how this book seemed to be her reclaiming her life. Sadly this is not the first or the last example of how the perception of the victim can affect the outcome of a rape trail. Who cares what she wore, or what she said, or how much she drank. Imagine if a man had to worry about being raped if he drank too much at a party. (What did you expect to happen) Imagine if a man instantly worried about the safety of his brother if he disappeared from a party (come together - leave together) Imagine if a man had to worry about wearing something too sexy (He had it coming) No man has had to even consider any of these things but I will bet you EVERY woman has. Let's do better.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Christine Hopkins

    Content notes: She discusses the suicide clusters at Gunn High, the mass shooting in Isla Vista (she attended Gunn and UCSB when those incidents occurred), and, of course, her own assault in specific, heartbreaking detail. "He was the one who lost everything. I was just the nobody it happened to." Even in a "perfect case" from a legal standpoint — there were witnesses, he ran, she went to the hospital, she pressed charges immediately — what happened to her still happened, s Content notes: She discusses the suicide clusters at Gunn High, the mass shooting in Isla Vista (she attended Gunn and UCSB when those incidents occurred), and, of course, her own assault in specific, heartbreaking detail. "He was the one who lost everything. I was just the nobody it happened to." Even in a "perfect case" from a legal standpoint — there were witnesses, he ran, she went to the hospital, she pressed charges immediately — what happened to her still happened, she still has to deal with it emotionally as well as legally, and through all this, people still find infinite ways to drag sexual assault victims through the mud. Because even when the assault is over, the aftermath is just beginning. Thank you, Chanel.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rose

    Quick review for a read I took my time with for a number of reasons. I'll get to that in just a moment. Here are just a few things I loved about this book: I loved that it was narrated by the author in the audio version. I loved Miller's narrative writing style, which is detailed, honest, emotional, and even poetic in spaces. I loved how "Know My Name" provided an eye into her family life, her interests, her relationships and background. I loved that this book gave more of a voice for Mille/>Here Quick review for a read I took my time with for a number of reasons. I'll get to that in just a moment. Here are just a few things I loved about this book: I loved that it was narrated by the author in the audio version. I loved Miller's narrative writing style, which is detailed, honest, emotional, and even poetic in spaces. I loved how "Know My Name" provided an eye into her family life, her interests, her relationships and background. I loved that this book gave more of a voice for Miller and an open look at how she dealt with some of the most difficult pieces of this experience in the duration and aftermath of everything that were not shown in the media's portrayal. That said, like previous experiences in reading personal narratives about survivors of rape and sexual assault, it's one that I had to take my time with because of so many raw emotions. Admittedly, I was upset not just in reading the details of Miller's experience and the progression of the trial, but also how Stanford treated her in the aftermath with trying to censor her words and the officials who were more interested in distancing themselves from it rather than aiding Miller in a place that she'd called a second home/community for much of her life. And considering I've read and consumed so much information about how many colleges are severely lacking addressing the needs of rape/SA survivors, it hits a raw nerve with me. But that speaks to the issue not just being on college campuses, but a lacking societal response to survivors as well. I read "Know My Name" over the course of several days, mostly when I was home because of how many times I became emotional while reading it. Like many, my introduction to Miller's story came from the statement that was published in Buzzfeed that she read during the trial. But often we don't have many opportunities to see victim experiences beyond what's portrayed in the media or a particular message that sold in society about rape/SA experiences because of cultural, social, and gender/sexual stereotypes, and damaging messages that seek to blame victims/survivors of this crime. Miller doesn't just dive into her intimate experiences and grappling with these contradictions, she provides space to discuss and unearth them throughout her narrative. She provides space also showing her grief and coping in a way that's true to the experiences of so many women. I hope that there are spaces for more people to read Miller's story if they have the opportunity to do so; "Know My Name" was one of the best books I've read and I have so much respect and admiration for her in being able to share this narrative.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Shawna (what.shawna.reads)

    Best book of the year. More thoughts to come.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sachi Argabright

    KNOW MY NAME is the recent memoir from Chanel Miller – also known as Emily Doe during the Stanford rape case against Brock Turner. While she remained anonymous throughout the trial, she is now telling her side of the story through this powerful book. As you might know, this case became extremely famous after Turner was only sentenced to 6 months in county jail even after Chanel gave a powerful statement at the sentencing hearing. That statement was published on Buzzfeed, and went viral with over KNOW MY NAME is the recent memoir from Chanel Miller – also known as Emily Doe during the Stanford rape case against Brock Turner. While she remained anonymous throughout the trial, she is now telling her side of the story through this powerful book. As you might know, this case became extremely famous after Turner was only sentenced to 6 months in county jail even after Chanel gave a powerful statement at the sentencing hearing. That statement was published on Buzzfeed, and went viral with over 18M views. Even though the jail time wasn’t sufficient, Chanel’s letter was the catalyst for changing the minimum sentence for sexual assault cases in California, and the judge who gave Turner the lienient sentencing was fired. This memoir gives more context to these events, and illustrates the long-term effects of sexual assault. This book is powerful, infuriating, sad, hopeful, and insightful all at the same time. I don’t say this often, but I truly believe this should be required reading (especially for young males). I know some universities have all incoming freshman read a chosen book, and it should be this one. There were so many important passages, that I found myself putting book darts every couple pages (especially in the latter half of the book). Ultimately this book takes a critical look at privilege, and how there are so many double standards between the victim and the defendant – especially when the defendant is a white male. The most eye-opening thing for me was how much pressure is put on victims to remember every miniscule thing about the crime. We constantly protect and give the benefit of the doubt to defendants rather than the victims, and if a female victim doesn’t remember something it is perceived that she “must be hiding something.” I remember reading Emily Doe’s victim letter when it went viral in 2016, but after getting to know Chanel over these 300+ pages - the letter is even more impactful than the first time I read it. I want to thank Chanel for sharing her story, and applaud her bravery and honesty throughout her book. I can’t give enough stars to this book. Everyone should read this. Full stop.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brat

    "𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐩𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐟𝐮𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐲𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐡𝐮𝐫𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮." 5/5 stars "𝑻𝒓𝒂𝒖𝒎𝒂 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒓𝒆𝒇𝒖𝒔𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒐 𝒂𝒅𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒂𝒏𝒚 𝒔𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒅𝒖𝒍𝒆, 𝒅𝒊𝒅𝒏'𝒕 𝒔𝒆𝒆𝒎 𝒕𝒐 𝒂𝒍𝒊𝒈𝒏 𝒊𝒕𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒇 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒆. 𝑺𝒐𝒎𝒆 𝒅𝒂𝒚𝒔, 𝒊𝒕 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒅𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒂𝒔 𝒂 𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒓; 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝒅𝒂𝒚𝒔, 𝒊𝒕 𝒄𝒐𝒖𝒍𝒅 𝒘𝒉𝒐𝒍𝒍𝒚 𝒆𝒏𝒈𝒖𝒍𝒇 𝒎𝒆." "𝙑𝙞𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙢𝙨 𝙞𝙙𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙛𝙮 𝙢𝙤𝙧𝙚 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙥𝙖𝙞𝙣, 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙣 𝙥𝙡𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙩𝙪𝙙𝙚𝙨." You all know about Brock Turner, the pig who raped an unconscious woman, was indicted on five charges (all of which he plead not guilty to), was convicted of three of those "𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐩𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐟𝐮𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐲𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐡𝐮𝐫𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮." 5/5 stars "𝑻𝒓𝒂𝒖𝒎𝒂 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒓𝒆𝒇𝒖𝒔𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒐 𝒂𝒅𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒂𝒏𝒚 𝒔𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒅𝒖𝒍𝒆, 𝒅𝒊𝒅𝒏'𝒕 𝒔𝒆𝒆𝒎 𝒕𝒐 𝒂𝒍𝒊𝒈𝒏 𝒊𝒕𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒇 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒆. 𝑺𝒐𝒎𝒆 𝒅𝒂𝒚𝒔, 𝒊𝒕 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒅𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒂𝒔 𝒂 𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒓; 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝒅𝒂𝒚𝒔, 𝒊𝒕 𝒄𝒐𝒖𝒍𝒅 𝒘𝒉𝒐𝒍𝒍𝒚 𝒆𝒏𝒈𝒖𝒍𝒇 𝒎𝒆." "𝙑𝙞𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙢𝙨 𝙞𝙙𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙛𝙮 𝙢𝙤𝙧𝙚 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙥𝙖𝙞𝙣, 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙣 𝙥𝙡𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙩𝙪𝙙𝙚𝙨." You all know about Brock Turner, the pig who raped an unconscious woman, was indicted on five charges (all of which he plead not guilty to), was convicted of three of those charges (potential 14 years in prison), and who served THREE MONTHS for. This type of #whiteprivilege and #injustice walks free, while countless individuals such as Chanel Miller (@chanelmillerknowmyname ) have to live with the lasting effects of sexual assault and biased judges. I don't have much faith in our judicial system. Chanel doesn't owe us anything, but HER STORY NEEDS TO BE HEARD. I cannot imagine how she endured the publicity of this case, even as "Emily Doe," and how things turned out, but I hope she's thriving. Edited to add: The cover looks like kintsugi or kintsukuroi, the Japanese art of putting broken pottery back together with gold- though once broken, then put back together, the item is far more beautiful after repair. I'm sure this is not coincidental. Above are the most memorable quotes from the story that really resonated with me. Thank you, Chanel Miller (@chanelmillerknowmyname ) for telling your story. You are not his victim. You are not nameless. 💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛📚💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛

  28. 4 out of 5

    Julianne Buonocore

    This was by far the best and most impactful, life changing book I have read this year. It’s the memoir of the victim of the Stanford sexual assault case. This is a firsthand account of the day by day that follows the years after a sexual assault. She is open and honest, philosophical and deeply questions societal norms. I genuinely felt that each sentence could be a standout quote from this book. This book will in some way change your way of thinking or expand upon what you thought you knew or u This was by far the best and most impactful, life changing book I have read this year. It’s the memoir of the victim of the Stanford sexual assault case. This is a firsthand account of the day by day that follows the years after a sexual assault. She is open and honest, philosophical and deeply questions societal norms. I genuinely felt that each sentence could be a standout quote from this book. This book will in some way change your way of thinking or expand upon what you thought you knew or understood potentially countless times, which in my opinion is the best thing a book can do. I highly recommend that everyone read this book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alex Anderson

    “There have been numerous times I have not brought up my case because I do not want to upset anybody or soul the mood. Because I want to preserve your comfort. Because I have been told that what I have to say is too dark, too upsetting, too targeting, too triggering, let’s tone it down. You will find society asking you for the happy ending, saying come back when you’re better, when what you say can make us feel good, when you have something more uplifting, affirming. This ugliness was something “There have been numerous times I have not brought up my case because I do not want to upset anybody or soul the mood. Because I want to preserve your comfort. Because I have been told that what I have to say is too dark, too upsetting, too targeting, too triggering, let’s tone it down. You will find society asking you for the happy ending, saying come back when you’re better, when what you say can make us feel good, when you have something more uplifting, affirming. This ugliness was something I never asked for, it was dropped on me, and for a long time I worried it made me ugly too. It made me into a sad, unwelcome story that nobody wanted to hear. But when I wrote the ugly and painful parts into a statement, an incredible thing happened. The world did not plug up its ears, it opened itself to me. I do not write to trigger victims. I write to comfort them, and I’ve found that victims identify more with pain than platitudes.” Chanel’s story is so raw, heartbreaking, honest, eloquent, and so real. What an extraordinary women. Her ability to stay resilient is aspiration after what she endured.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Fonseca

    I was happy to learn Chanel’s name and to learn she had written a book. I pre-ordered it. I decided to buy the kindle version because I wanted to have it immediately. The book did not disappoint. I’m drawn to her writing style. I enjoyed learning about the routines and life she had created while going through that long difficult court process. I enjoyed reading about the small moments she found solace and comfort in others, from the door women in phily, to the classmates in her summer I was happy to learn Chanel’s name and to learn she had written a book. I pre-ordered it. I decided to buy the kindle version because I wanted to have it immediately. The book did not disappoint. I’m drawn to her writing style. I enjoyed learning about the routines and life she had created while going through that long difficult court process. I enjoyed reading about the small moments she found solace and comfort in others, from the door women in phily, to the classmates in her summer art program, to everything that held her together. Like she wrote, “i have created a self inside the suffering.” I think many will find this book invaluable, especially survivors of sexual assault. In a section Chanel wrote, “I’ve found that victims identify more with pain than with platitudes. When I write about weakness, about how I am barely getting though this, my hope is that they feel better, because it aligns with the truth that they are living.” I’ve never experienced sexual assault fortunately, but this book filled me with empathy and love for survivors everywhere. I also found this book meaningful because it resonated with my own personal battles with depression. Like Chanel, I’ve found comfort in “mundane” interactions with family, strangers, my dogs. Like Chanel, (in regards to her scuba diving story) I remember there’s other words existing that remind me of how beautiful life still is. I’ll end my review with more of Chanel’s beautiful words: “We may spend half our time wandering around, wondering what we’re even doing here, why it’s worth the effort. But living is an incredible thing, just to have been here, to have felt, if only briefly, the volume and depth of others’ empathy. I wrote, most of all, to tell you I have seen how good the world could be.” Chanel, if you somehow read this, just know I hold you in warmth and love and sincerely wish you the best in life. I’m not alone in that sentiment. Many are admiring you and sending you love. I’m so glad children will have the gift of your books.

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