book review: Know My Name by Chanel Miller



KNOW MY NAME by Chanel Miller
Viking, 2019


Chanel Miller’s memoir Know My Name is aptly titled; the name Brock Turner is known by most Americans who watch the news, while Miller was known for years only as ‘Emily Doe,’ the nameless, faceless girl that he attempted to rape at a Stanford frat party in January 2015.  Turner’s case gained notoriety after his sentencing where he received only 6 months of prison time – he only served 3 – and Miller’s victim impact statement was published to Buzzfeed, receiving millions of hits and sparking conversations about sexual assault on college campuses, as well as the lenient sentences that privileged young men receive.  In September 2019, Miller finally broke her anonymity, appearing on 60 Minutes and publishing this memoir.

Miller’s memoir isn’t only extraordinary for the fact that, for female victims, putting yourself out there necessarily means abuse, dismissal, and violated privacy; it’s extraordinary because it is a damn good book.  It’s clear-eyed while still being pointed and righteously furious; it’s razor-sharp and compassionate in equal measure; it’s deeply personal and macrocosmic all at once.  This memoir highlights the impact and recovery process for sexual assault, with Miller stressing that it isn’t a simple road with a happy ending.  That said, she wants to make it clear that she writes for victims above all others, hoping her honesty will touch others who have lived through similar horrors.  Know My Name is an accomplished, impressively self-aware piece of writing that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to everyone who can stomach the subject matter.  (I listened to the audiobook which Miller herself narrates, and I cannot recommend that highly enough.)

You can pick up a copy of Know My Name here on Book Depository.


16 thoughts on “book review: Know My Name by Chanel Miller

    • I know what you mean, simply on a sentence-by-sentence level Miller has an incredibly powerful and commanding way with words. It made this book a real treat to read, even though it was obviously horrifying in equal measure. I am confident you will love it.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great review! I picked this up from the library yesterday, finished it this morning, and just posted my own review. It’s so well-written and powerful. I imagine listening to it in her own voice is especially compelling.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review, of course. This book sounds basically perfect. I was already interested in the content, but am even more intrigued to hear that it’s well-written! And the audiobook sounds fantastic- I rarely read that way, but I don’t have a physical copy lined up so might look into that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are going to LOVE THIS. It’s one of the best things I’ve read in ages. And I’d highly highly recommend the audiobook. I’m still not the biggest audiobook fan in the world so when I say that it’s probably the best way to consume a particular book it is high praise!

      Liked by 1 person

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