What I Thought I Knew: a memoir
“Everything we love in a book -- profound, honest, hilarious, humane, surprising." Anne Lamott, Salon.com
BEST BOOKS OF 2009 Elle's Lettres 2009 GRAND PRIX: BEST NONFICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR
Oprah Magazine “25 BEST BOOKS OF SUMMER”
Salon, "BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR"
INDIE NEXT LIST NOTABLES
Alice Cohen was happy for the first time in years. After a difficult divorce, she was engaged to a wonderful man, she was raising a beloved adopted daughter; and her career was blossoming. Then she started experiencing mysterious symptoms. After months of tests, X-rays, and hormone treatments, Alice was diagnosed with an abdominal tumor and sent for an emergency CAT scan that revealed the cause of her symptoms. She was six months pregnant.
At age 44, with no prenatal care and no insurance coverage for a high-risk pregnancy, Alice was inundated with opinions from doctors and friends telling her what was ethical, what was loving, what was right. With the suspense of a thriller and the intimacy of a diary, Cohen describes her unexpected odyssey through doubt, a broken medical system, and the complexities of motherhood and family in today's world. Ruefully funny, wickedly candid, What I Thought I Knew is a mystery, a love story, a philosophical quest and a personal tour de force.
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Praise for WHAT I THOUGHT I KNEW:
Elle Magazine GRAND PRIX for Nonfiction
Oprah Magazine “25 BEST BOOKS OF SUMMER”
Indie Next List Notables
Salon.com, BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
"Her darkly hilarious memoir, What I Thought I Knew, is an unexpected bundle of joy."
--Oprah Magazine, 25 Best Books of Summer
"By turns black comedy, Kafkaesque nightmare, medical mystery and crisis of faith, What I Thought I Knew is ultimately a love story. Blessed with a witty, unsentimental, utterly human voice, Alice Eve Cohen has taken what might have been a personal catastrophe and turned it into a memoir of astonishing candor."
--Donald Margulies, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama
"A hell of a well told story -- a book you won't put down. I loved every word."
--Abigail Thomas, author of A Three Dog Life
"This wonderful, uplifting book is about facing life on life’s terms... about the remarkable gifts we receive when we give up the fantasy of perfection and allow ourselves to fall in love with the reality of our own ‘perfectly imperfect’ lives. Many people will see themselves reflected in this fascinating story -- a book about the challenges of motherhood and adulthood that is so honest and yet so comforting!"
--Winnie Holzman, book-writer for Wicked, the musical
"Readers interested in the emotional hardships of pregnancy will relish this debut."
"...compelling and edifying memoir"
"Alice Eve Cohen is a true storyteller... Her smart, intimate, quirky book is not so much a memoir as it is a tale: the question isn't just ‘Who am I?’ but ‘What kind of universe is this?’"
--Joan Wickersham, author of The Suicide Index, National Book Award Finalist
"I loved this book. Alice writes with humor, guts, and honesty, while spinning her unbelievable yet true tale like a master. I laughed, I cried. I crashed with her losses, I soared with her triumphs. And I was gripped through every twist and turn. Alice Eve Cohen is my new hero. I aspire to look at my own life's challenges with her kind of ferocity and heartfelt wit."
--Jacquelyn Reingold, playwright and writer for HBO's "In Treatment
"Candid, brave and heartbreakingly funny."
--Patricia McCormick, author of Sold, National Book Award Finalist
"A true page turner: a compelling and utterly unique human journey told with ruthless honesty and humor. All I kept thinking was ‘what a woman!’"
--Christine Baranski, actress
"This remarkable book engages the reader in what feels like an intimate conversation about the most earth-shaking moments in a woman's life... transmuted by imagination into art. And, somehow, after reading this book, we may discover what we thought we knew and what we believe we know today."
--Maxine Greene, Philosopher, author of Releasing the Imagination: Essays on Education, the Arts, and Social Change
"...Captivating, beautifully written, inspiring, What I Thought I Knew should be read by every medical school student."
--Jeffrey Trilling, MD, Associate Professor & Chair, Department of Family Medicine, Stony Brook School of Medicine