The anonymous woman sexually assaulted by Stanford swimmer Brock Turner and whose memoir will be published by Viking this month, has revealed her true identity as Chanel Miller.
In June 2016, Miller read aloud her victim impact statement to Brock Turner, who was convicted on two counts of sexual assault and one count of attempted rape. Turner was sentenced to six months in a county jail and released after serving three. Following the trial, Miller's 12-page statement was released publicly. It was read on the floor of the US Congress and translated into more than five languages. The judge who presided over the trial was later removed from the bench and California sexual assault laws were amended to protect victims in the future. An appeals court rejected Turner's case to have the sexual assault and attempted rape felonies overturned earlier this month.
The memoir explores Miller's own experience of sexual assault as well as the wider issues, and will be published by the Penguin Random House imprint on 24th September. It will retail at £16.99 in hardback.
Viking UK publisher Venetia Butterfield, who acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Felicity Rubinstein of Lutyens & Rubinstein in June, said: "It is an immense privilege to share Chanel Miller’s honest, eloquent and emotional story with readers. Here is a book that will change the way we think about sexual assault forever."
Isabel Wall, editor at Viking, added: "Chanel Miller’s experience is unique, but also unsettlingly familiar to so many women. Her words will inspire change and move readers profoundly with her rare strength and resilience."
Miller, a writer and artist based in San Francisco, California, started working on the book in early 2017, and since then it has shifted and expanded as conversations about sexual violence moved increasingly to the fore, according to the New York Times. The process of writing the book was reportedly also a way for Miller to piece together the totality of what happened the night she was assaulted. She read pages of court documents and transcripts of witness testimonies she had not been allowed to hear during the trial. She and Schulz apparently had weekly calls during the writing of the book.
“Now she reclaims her identity to tell her story of trauma, transcendence, and the power of words," the PRH UK website reads, with Miller's true identity listed. "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.”
Boasting a striking black and white cover, the 368-page memoir aims to bring wider change for sexual assault victims. “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 humour, this memoir will stand as a modern classic,” the synopsis reads.
Miller’s US editor, Viking editor-in-chief Andrea Schulz, has revealed her anticipation of the book to the New York Times on Wednesday (4th September). She told the newspaper on reading Miller’s impact statement in the summer of 2016: “I just remember being in my kitchen and reading this incredible, riveting piece of work.” She added: “I jumped out of my chair to acquire it because it was just obvious to me from the beginning what she had to say and how different it was and how extraordinarily well she was going to say it. She had the brain and the voice of a writer from the very beginning, even in that situation.”