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Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson Read Online (FREE)

Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson Read Online

Read Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson online free here.

Introduction

 

Finding my courage to speak up twenty-five years after I was raped, writing Speak, and talking with countless survivors of sexual violence made me who I am today.

This book shows how that happened.

It’s filled with the accidents, serendipities, bloodlines, tidal waves, sunrises, disasters, passport stamps, criminals, cafeterias, nightmares, fever dreams, readers, portents, and whispers that have shaped me so far.

My father wrote poetry, too. He gave me these guidelines: we must be gentle with the living, but the dead own their truth and are fearless. So I’ve written honestly about the challenges my parents faced and how their struggles affected me. The poems that reference people other than me or my family are truth told slant; I’ve muddled specific details to protect the identities of survivors.

This is the story of a girl who lost her voice and wrote herself a new one.

 

PRELUDE: mic test

 

this book smells like me woodsmoke salt honey and strawberries sunscreen, libraries failures and sweat green nights in the mountains cold dawns by the sea

this book reeks of my fear of depression’s black dogs howling and the ancient shames riding my back, their claws buried deep

this book is yesterday’s mud dried on the dance floor the step patterns cautiously submitted for your curious investigation of what I feel like on the inside

 

one

 

in the name of love

 

When he was eighteen years old, my father saw his buddy’s head sliced into two pieces, sawn just above the eyebrows by an exploding brake drum, when he was in the middle of telling a joke.

Repairing planes, P-51s, on an air base in England, hungry for a gun, not a wrench, my father pushed an army-issue trunk into his mind and put the picture of his friend’s last breath at the bottom of it.

Then they sent him to Dachau. Not just him, of course, his whole unit, and not just to Dachau, but to all of the camps because the War was over. But not really.

Daddy didn’t talk to me for forty years about what he saw, heard, what he smelled what he did about it; one year of silence for every day of the Flood, one year for every day from Lent until Easter.

The air in Dachau was clouded with the ash from countless bodies, as he breathed it in the agony of the dying infected my father, and all of his friends. They tried to help the suffering, followed orders, took out their rage in criminal ways while their officers turned away. My father filled the trunk in his head with walking corpses who sang to him every night for the rest of his life.

One day Daddy watched a pregnant woman walking slowly down the road near the gates of Dachau he matched his steps to hers, then stopped as she crouched in a ditch and birthed a baby.