Know My Name Summary
‘I opened Know My Name with the intention to bear witness to the story of a survivor. Instead, I found myself falling into the hands of one of the great writers and thinkers of our time. Chanel Miller is a philosopher, a cultural critic, a deep observer, a writer’s writer, a true artist. I could not put this phenomenal book down.’ –Glennon Doyle, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Love Warrior and Untamed
‘Know My Name is a gut-punch, and in the end, somehow, also blessedly hopeful.’ –Washington Post
She was known to the world as Emily Doe when she stunned millions with a letter. Brock Turner had been sentenced to just six months in county jail after he was found sexually assaulting her on Stanford’s campus. Her victim impact statement was posted on BuzzFeed, where it instantly went viral–viewed by eleven million people within four days, it was translated globally and read on the floor of Congress; it inspired changes in California law and the recall of the judge in the case. Thousands wrote to say that she had given them the courage to share their own experiences of assault for the first time.
Now she reclaims her identity to tell her story of trauma, transcendence, and the power of words. It was the perfect case, in many ways–there were eyewitnesses, Turner ran away, physical evidence was immediately secured. But her struggles with isolation and shame during the aftermath and the trial reveal the oppression victims face in even the best-case scenarios. Her story illuminates a culture biased to protect perpetrators, indicts a criminal justice system designed to fail the most vulnerable, and, ultimately, shines with the courage required to move through suffering and live a full and beautiful life.
Know My Name will forever transform the way we think about sexual assault, challenging our beliefs about what is acceptable and speaking truth to the tumultuous reality of healing. It also introduces readers to an extraordinary writer, one whose words have already changed our world. Entwining pain, resilience, and humor, this memoir will stand as a modern classic.
The book was initially published by Viking Books, through efforts by the publisher’s editor-in-chief Andrea Schulz. Schulz took quick action after being contacted by Miller’s literary agent, Philippa Brophy. Schulz worked to acquire the rights to the book because of Miller’s writing skill and her compelling account. The same month as the book’s publication, Miller was interviewed on CBS News program 60 Minutes, where she read from her original victim impact statement.
Know My Name debuted on The New York Times Best Seller list at number five, and also made number 14 on the USA Today Best-Selling Books list. The work additionally made the list of Best-Selling Books in The Wall Street Journal.
Family Upstairs Audiobook Reviews
“Miller provides one of the most moving and humanizing depictions of sexual assault I have ever read…Know My Name features the kind of intimate, coming-of-age storytelling that you don’t find in a typical story about a crime and its aftermath. She lets us see her in quiet moments and jubilant ones, in moments of doubt and moments of strength…In giving us the gift of knowing her, Miller has written a singular testament to the human cost of sexual violence, and a powerful reminder of why we fight.” ─The Cut
“In a world that asks too many survivors to keep their experiences to themselves and shrink their suffering to preserve someone else’s potential, Know My Name stands unapologetically large, asking others to reckon with its author’s dazzling, undiminishable presence. To read it, in spite of everything, inspires hope.”—The Guardian
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In September 2019, Chanel Miller revealed herself as being “Emily Doe” in the People v. Turner case and released her book with the title, Know My Name: A Memoir, on September 4, 2019. She first began work on the book in 2017. The book was an attempt by Miller to reappropriate her narrative identity and describe the trauma she went through, after being referred to in the press as “unconscious intoxicated woman”. The author discusses her experience of the assault and the trial, as well as how she has coped since then. Through research for the work, Miller perused court transcripts and testimony of individuals involved in the court proceedings—materials she had been unable to view throughout the trial of Brock Turner itself.