Know My Name

A Memoir
Narrated by: Chanel Miller
Length: 15 hrs and 24 mins
4.8 out of 5 stars (4,724 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Universally acclaimed, rapturously reviewed, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography, and an instant New York Times best seller, Chanel Miller's breathtaking memoir "gives readers the privilege of knowing her not just as Emily Doe, but as Chanel Miller the writer, the artist, the survivor, the fighter" (The Wrap).

"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, number-one New York Times best-selling 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 11 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 listeners 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.

Chosen as a Best Book of 2019 by The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, Time, Elle, Glamour, Parade, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, BookRiot

©2019 Chanel Miller (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Know My Name marks the debut of a gifted young writer. Miller's words are purpose. They are maps. And she is a treasure who has prevailed." (The New York Times

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minutiae ad noseam

I dislike leaving a negative review of this book given the horrific events in Miller's life but after slogging through 10+ hours of it I am exhausted by how slow, vapid, and bland it is. Passages such as "I sat on a bench. I took a photo of a burrito. I posted it online. I got 32 likes." Make me wonder just what I'm bothering with this for? How many sentiments can be broken into separate sentences all beginning with I? How many of the sentiments in the above passage serve to further the narrative or create an idea of Miller's 'personality?' And the narration. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE stop allowing people to read the books they have authored. She is so slow and so monotone I could use this book as a sleep aid. I'm baffled by the positive reviews. I read a lot of memoirs so I know they aren't as exciting as fiction but there is an art to characterization, to displaying feelings, to capturing moods, emotions, and settings and this book starts off with a few anecdotes but then devolves into the most tedious and mundane accounts of things I hesitate to refer to as events. As an avid reader I possess a good attention span. I've read War and Peace and Remembrance of Things Past, so I don't need plot driven fiction to stay involved in a lengthy narrative. A ghostwriter or co-author with some experience or an editor to pare this down from 15 hours to 4 might have helped to overcome the awful narration enough to make this a manageable book. As it is I can't express how irritating and slow and uninteresting it is, one has to experience the tedium first hand to fully grasp that.

42 people found this helpful

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Just, thank you.

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.

110 people found this helpful

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This book just gave me the push to keep going!

My therapist recommended that i read this book 7 days ago and I literally devoured it! I listened to the audio book and made notes in the kindle version. I can’t explain what this book has done for me! Hearing Chanel’s story and listening to all of her feelings has truly made me feel that I am not alone, my feelings are valid and it is not my fault! Thank you Chanel Miller for telling your story!!!! You have given me the strength I need to keep going!

18 people found this helpful

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A Must-Read For All, Especially Young Men

First, don’t be deterred by the length. Because of Chanel’s cadence, you can increase the speed with no to little distraction. (For me, I switched between 1.5x to 1.75x with no problems.) As someone who’s been fortunate to never have experienced a sexual assault or violent crime, I found this memoir to be so insightful, enlightening and deeply touching. I hope as many people as possible experience the book, regardless of their personal connection to her story. However, most of all, I hope more men (especially young men) read the book, in an effort to better understand how challenging it is for women to navigate the world just as women, let alone as victims of sexual assault. I consider myself compassionate, but this memoir encouraged me to further reflect on ways I can better advocate for women. As men, we spend so little time (if any) having to worry about our safety, behavior and words in our daily lives. For women, it’s a constant challenge to be aware of your surroundings, how you’re dressed or who you talk to, no matter the environment. And, for sexual assault survivors, it can be an even more tedious, stressful experience. The book reminded me that there are survivors all around us, but we just don’t know it. Chanel’s courage and strength are to be commended. The book is so well-written (and narrated even better), you can’t help but feel the highs and lows of her journey from victim to survivor, in your heart. Thanks to her sharp wit, I chuckled. Thanks to her honesty, I cried. Thanks to her vulnerability, I related. Thanks to her strength, I smiled. It is simply one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read because it leaves you with so many emotions and, most importantly, hope and healing. (Give me this type of memoir over any celebrity one any day.) This book will stand as a monument to the power of finding and using your voice for good. (The book is worth hearing her read her powerful Emily Doe Victim’s Impact Statement alone. It allows you, as the reader, to walk in someone else’s shoes — one of the best gifts in changing the world.) Chanel overcame so much forced upon her by her perpetrator, but, at times, and even more upsetting, by society and the judicial system. Her ability to find the words to so flawlessly and perfectly share her pain and ultimate triumph is inspirational. There is no question that her life’s calling is to be a writer. (I look forward to her first novel or children’s book.)

88 people found this helpful

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Too Long

With all due respect for Chanel and what happened to her this book was way too long. Readers voice was monotone and made it excruciating to keep reading.

11 people found this helpful

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amazing

I had no idea this was how it worked. It's incredibly insightful how she breaks apart exactly how the process works to try to dehumanize and silence victims. I hope that politicians and policymakers will listen carefully and take notes.

35 people found this helpful

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I Ugly Cried Too Many Times

Before purchasing, I thought... 15 hours and 24 minutes? After listening, I missed her voice and was sad it was over. Every word was engaging and necessary. Her vulnerability is so beautiful and raw and I ugly cried a lot. She laid her soul bare and I want to say thank you for sharing this with us and thank you for opening the path for others to feel less alone and to speak up. Throughout the audiobook, she takes us through the financial cost of the legal process, the burden of how taxing it was for her and her family to change schedules to make time for the court dates. She deconstructs how dehumanizing the legal process is to determine a person's worth between the treatment of her and the defendant. How as the victim, photos of her naked body was displayed for everyone in the courtroom to see. And SHE is the victim! She explains how the probation officer called not even taking the time to find out that she is half-Chinese but assumes she is white. She deconstructs the legal process for us so eloquently into words of common sense. This should be required reading. Her words are so powerful and she is bringing positive change for us. Her story has touched the world through her victim impact statement and since then two bills have passed to change Californian state law. She takes us through how she scrolls through the negative comments on social media and how she endured long enough until months later when she received the outpouring of love letters from her fans. This book goes through the ups and downs but ultimately it is not negative but so life-affirming. She shows how everyday catcalling impacted her when she was at her lowest, and turns it into something positive. I watched her in a recent interview on the Daily Show. She shines so brightly like the lighthouse that she is. I hope she keeps shining.

32 people found this helpful

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Exceptional writer

This book is profound. She has such a clear, strong voice and writes a painful but beautifully written story. Thank you for giving us your story in your own voice. What a gift. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your bravery.

23 people found this helpful

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I am forever changed by this book

This book is long. It has to be. These words are painful. They have to be. I started to listen the minute I got the email that was preorder was filled and it took me just over two days to finish. You will weep several times, whether you've been directly victimized or not. Chanel addresses not only her rape by Brock Turner, but rape culture as a whole. It is eye opening and Earth shattering. It is painful, yet beautiful. It is following a journey of a girl waking up in a hospital feeling more feeble than she was as a newborn... and then watching her army crawl to the top of Everest. #fukbrockturner #betheswedes #fightlikechanel

21 people found this helpful

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Thank you, Chanel.

This book is incredible. I'm blown away. It should be required reading for Crisis Advocates and anyone who works with people affected by sexual assault.

27 people found this helpful