A New York Times bestseller and one of 2019's best-reviewed books, a poetic memoir and call to action from the award-winning author of Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson!
Bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson is known for the unflinching way she writes about, and advocates for, survivors of sexual assault. Now, inspired by her fans and enraged by how little in our culture has changed since her groundbreaking novel Speak was first published twenty years ago, she has written a poetry memoir that is as vulnerable as it is rallying, as timely as it is timeless. In free verse, Anderson shares reflections, rants, and calls to action woven between deeply personal stories from her life that she's never written about before. Described as "powerful," "captivating," and "essential" in the nine starred reviews it's received, this must-read memoir is being hailed as one of 2019's best books for teens and adults. A denouncement of our society's failures and a love letter to all the people with the courage to say #MeToo and #TimesUp, whether aloud, online, or only in their own hearts, SHOUT speaks truth to power in a loud, clear voice-- and once you hear it, it is impossible to ignore.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Already one of young-adult fiction’s boldest and most important voices, Laurie Halse Anderson takes another fearless step with Shout. Her vivid memoir in verse tells her own story of surviving rape and healing enough to write about it. Throughout, Anderson’s gift for storytelling allows her to extract meaning from a challenging childhood and adolescence and to illuminate her winding path to becoming a writer. Her compassion and wisdom are a treasure—by choosing to loudly break the silence around sexual assault, she turns herself into a source of hope and inspiration.
In this powerful memoir told in free verse, Anderson delves into her past and that of her parents, sharing experiences at the root of novels such as Speak (her rape at the age of 13) and The Impossible Knife of Memory (her father's PTSD after World War II). In language alternately raw and lyrical, she traces the years from her childhood to the start of her writing career, describing how the memory of her rape finally spurred her to write the truth and to become an activist against censorship and rape culture, which are both addressed in the book along with confusing social messages surrounding sexuality ("the rules they fed you/ were the wrong rules"). Exploring the impact of silence on truth ("I learned then that words/ had such power/ some must never be spoken"), she also portrays her parents' marriage, her shifting relationships with them, and her closeness with her father after her mother's death. In one especially contemplative poem entitled "how the story found me," Anderson turns on its head the common refrain "follow your dreams," recommending that readers "follow your nightmares instead/ cuz when you figure out what's eating you alive/ you can slay it." Her potent words and willingness to shout her message are proof of the soundness of that advice. Ages 12 up.
Through tears I am writing this to say this is one of the best books and memoirs I have ever read. Stunning, thoughtful, truthful. A true wonder.
We have to take about sexual violence and it starts with awareness. SHOUT is a great start.
If I Had Eight Stars Instead of Five...
Everyone should read this because we should all be co-conspirators to the honesty, to the horror and to the hope. If there were eight stars here--I'd give them all to you, Laurie, not just for the book, but for being brave enough to SHOUT and also for being someone who inspires the rest of us to speak. Thank you.