Laurie Halse Anderson: Speak 20th Anniversary

Thursday January 17: 7:00PM 8:00PM

PLEASE NOTE: This event is free to attend. Only 200 guests will be admitted. Seating is limited and available on a first come, first serve basis; latecomers will occupy standing-room areas. Book purchase is required to meet the author. Copies of Speak will be available for purchase at the event.

"Speak up for yourself - we want to know what you have to say."

From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether.

Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication.

A timeless novel about consent and finding the courage to speak up for yourself, the twentieth anniversary edition of the classic novel that has spoken to so many young adults now includes a new introduction by acclaimed writer, host, speaker, and cultural commentator Ashley C. Ford as well as an afterword by New York Times-bestselling author of All American Boys and Long Way Down, Jason Reynolds. This edition will also feature an updated Q&A, resource list, and essay and poem from Laurie Halse Anderson.

Join us in the Rare Book Room as Laurie celebrates this momentous anniversary. Laurie will be joined in conversation by writer, editor and podcast host Ashley C. Ford!

Ashley C. Ford lives in Brooklyn by way of Indiana. She is currently writing her memoir, Somebody's Daughter, which will be published by Flatiron Books under the imprint An Oprah Book. Ford currently hosts PROFILE by BuzzFeed News, and is the former host of Brooklyn-based news & culture TV show (and podcast!), 112BK. She is also working on a collection of interviews (B-Side Chats) with her husband, Kelly Stacy. Ford has written or guest-edited for The Guardian, ELLE, BuzzFeed, OUT Magazine, Slate, Teen Vogue, New York Magazine, Lenny Letter, INTO and various other web and print publications. She's taught creative nonfiction writing at The New School and Catapult.Co, and also had her work listed among Longform & Longread's Best of 2017. She also contributed to CupOfJo.Com & hosted Fortune Favors The Bold, a collaboration between Gimlet Creative and Mastercard. While working as a development executive for Matter Studios, Ford focused on web series and documentaries. She was also the host of the first season of Audible.Com's literary interview series, Authorized. She has been named among Forbes Magazine's 30 Under 30 in Media (2017), Brooklyn Magazine's Brooklyn 100 (2016), and Time Out New York's New Yorkers of The Year (2017).

Unable to make the event?

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