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Joanne Vannicola grew up in a violent home with a physically abusive father and a mother who had no sexual boundaries.
After being pressured to leave home at fourteen, and after fifteen years of estrangement, Joanne learns that her mother is dying. Compelled to reconnect, she visits with her, unearthing a trove of devastating secrets.
Joanne relates her journey from child performer to Emmy Award–winning actor, from hiding in the closet to embracing her own sexuality, from conflicted daughter and sibling to independent woman. All We Knew But Couldn’t Say is a testament to survival, love, and the belief that it is possible to love the broken, and to love fully, even with a broken heart.
"A story fit for this time and the landscape of our culture. Incredibly raw, moving, and honest. Joanne has survived so much and come out triumphant. A book worth reading." — Denys Arcand, Oscar-winning filmmaker
"This frank, sometimes harrowing, always inspiring memoir should be mandatory reading for all — for those afraid of being true to themselves or anyone who needs a hero that demonstrates what personal courage and determination can do." — Colin Mochrie, actor and comedian
"Joanne Vannicola weaves a compelling narrative about hardship, survival, and resilience that reminds all of us about the enduring importance of forgiveness, family acceptance, and love." — Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO, GLAAD