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Know My Name by Chanel Miller
Know My Name by Chanel Miller  

Miller's inspiring memoir grew out of her writing her victim impact statement for the sentencing of Brock Turner, a 19-year-old Stanford University swimmer who was convicted of raping her. An unconscious Miller was assaulted by Turner behind a dumpster outside a Stanford party in 2015, when she was 22 and visiting her sister, who was a student there. After laying out these facts, Miller recalls growing up in Palo Alto in a mixed-race family, her fledgling career as an illustrator and her aspirations as a writer. The story that follows, of Miller waking up in a San Jose hospital with pine cones in her hair and an incomplete memory of the night before, is masterfully crafted by juxtaposing the details of physical evidence and accounts from witnesses with Miller's growing awareness that her life as she knew it was over ("It is utter confusion paired with knowing"). Miller describes the toll the trial takes on her and her family, and her desire to go back to her life before the assault. After writing her victim statement, which she published to an overwhelmingly positive reception on BuzzFeed, she begins to connect her previous interest in writing with her new identity as a survivor. This harrowing memoir is a convincing testament to the healing power of writing.

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