TIME

A voice for others speaks for herself

TWENTY-THREE YEARS AGO, LAURIE HALSE Anderson woke up to the sound of a young girl wailing. Pulling herself from bed, she rushed to check on her daughters. Both were sleeping peacefully. The cries, she realized, had come from her own nightmare—an image of a girl, broken and sobbing. She sat down to write about what she’d dreamt. Those midnight notes turned into Anderson’s first novel, Speak, a landmark work of young-adult fiction about a 14-year-old girl’s battle with depression after she is raped by an older peer.

In the 20 years since Speak was published in 1999, it has sold more than 3 million copies and won multiple awards. The novel has been analyzed in classrooms and adapted into a 2004 movie starring Kristen Stewart. In that time, Anderson’s book-signing table has become a nondenominational confessional, a sacred site where those who have suffered sexual violence can lean in to whisper their stories in her ears. Now, inspired by the rising tide of the #MeToo movement and our national reckoning

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from TIME

TIME3 min read
India’s Best Hope For Economic Reform
TO WIN A FRESH MANDATE for himself and his party in India’s upcoming elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made extravagant promises and worrisome threats. He can fairly be accused of fanning flames of hostility toward India’s Muslim population
TIME2 min readPolitics
News Ticker
Iran-U.S. tensions escalate Iran’s President on May 8 said his country will stop complying with parts of the Iranian nuclear deal and start enriching more uranium if other countries do not ease sanctions in 60 days. The move came days after the U.S.
TIME3 min read
Ciara Finally Gets Her Due
IT’S BEEN 15 YEARS SINCE THE SINGER CIARA erupted onto the scene, making her mark with breathy vocals and limber dancing. The rapper Lil Jon declared her the “first lady of Crunk&B” for her dominance over the grooving, bass-heavy pop-R&B style that w