Laurie Halse Anderson
born in 1961 in Potsdam, New York, started her career as a journalist before shifting to work part-time in a bookstore, allowing her the freedom to pursue her literary ambitions. After garnering success with her powerful young adult novels, she committed herself fully to writing, teaching, and speaking.
»Speak« (1999), her debut novel, brought her into the limelight, garnering ten prestigious awards in the United States. Her impressive storytelling skills continued to shine in »Chains« (2008), a gripping narrative that earned her a nomination for the National Book Award. Her works often tackle challenging subjects, reflecting her commitment to dealing with the dark realities of life that teenagers face. A quote from Anderson encapsulates her ethos: »Adolescence is the transition from the innocence of childhood to the dark realities of adult life. I try to write books that are grounded in truth, so they will prepared for the world.«
Anderson’s subsequent work, »The Impossible Knife of Memory« (2015) and her memoir-in-verse, »Shout«, were both long-listed for the National Book Awards. »Shout« (2019), a poignant exploration of surviving sexual assault, serves as a powerful manifesto for the #MeToo era. Noted critic Leah Greenblatt, from Entertainment Weekly, remarks that »Shout«[eine] is »[a] captivating, powerful read about [ist], clawing your way out of trauma, reclaiming your body, and undoing lifetimes of lessons in order to use your voice as the weapon it is.«
Anderson’s contributions to young adult literature earned her the Margaret A. Edwards Award, given by the American Library Association, and she has been recognized for her battle for intellectual freedom by the National Coalition Against Censorship and the National Council of Teachers of English. She also advocates for diversity in publishing and is a member of RAINN’s National Leadership Council. Laurie Halse Anderson received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2023.
The author lives in Philadelphia.