The Midwest Literary Walk typically takes place every April in downtown Chelsea, but this year the Michigan-based event is adapting to the COVID-19 era and will be going virtual. On April 24, the Literary Walk will host three acclaimed authors to sit down for a series of live interviews. New York Times bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson will kick off the event on Saturday. Anderson’s most recent book, “Shout,” chronicles her own experience surviving sexual assault and also examines society’s failure to address sexual violence.
Listen: Acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson talks about how her new memoir represents an important milestone in her journey of reclaiming her story.
Laurie Halse Anderson is a New York Times bestselling author. Her first book, “Speak,” is a fictionalized account of sexual violence Anderson experienced as a teen. Her new book “Shout” is a memoir. Anderson says she made the decision to write “Shout” after realizing the profound impact that her first book has had on teenagers all over the country since its release in 1999.
“Listening to high school students across America and recognizing that people weren’t giving them the information they needed to talk about healthy consent-based sexuality, much less bring up their own incidents of sexual violence, that’s what led me to write ‘Shout,’” says Anderson.
Anderson explains that writing books for kids and teenagers was completely unexpected, “but in writing these books for kids it’s helped me reclaim my own voice,” says Anderson. While every survivor of sexual assault must decide their own level of comfort and willingness to discuss their experiences, Anderson says that for her, it’s been empowering to talk about it openly.
“One of the best things I can do as a survivor of sexual violence is to be a model of survivorship … people tell me that when I speak up … that gives them permission to speak up too,” she says.