Author Laurie Halse Anderson won wide acclaim for her 1999 debut novel, Speak, one of the first books for young adults to tackle sexual assault. In the novel, high school freshman Melinda is assaulted at a party by a popular senior and is ostracized, barely speaking because of the trauma.
Twenty years after Speak, Anderson wrote a memoir called Shout, in which she writes about her own rape at the age of 13, how she coped, and what it’s like to survive. Since 1999, Anderson readers who are survivors of sexual violence have shared their experiences with her, and she includes these powerful stories in her writing.
She joined us in 2019, the 20th anniversary of Speak, to talk about her memoir, the groundbreaking first novel, how to talk to young people about sexual assault, her own healing and the present of future of #metoo.