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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 the Year

"Her darkly hilarious memoir is an unexpected bundle of joy." O, the Oprah Magazine

Elle Magazine GRAND PRIX for Nonfiction
Oprah Magazine "25 BEST BOOKS OF SUMMER"
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.

Praise for What I Thought I Knew

"Her darkly hilarious memoir is an unexpected bundle of joy." O, the Oprah Magazine

“A gripping story about one of the most wrenching decisions a woman can make.” People

"Gripping and deeply moving." Elle

“I could not put this book down. I got to the last pages, and I had tears in my eyes. It is a remarkable story.” –Harry Smith, CBS, The Early Show

"About what happens when crisis or change in fortune upends what someone thinks she knows about herself, or about how life works … Her memoir, which is shot through with humor, touches on … the stormy mix of ambivalence and love that many women bring to motherhood." The New York Times

“It is rare for a memoir about motherhood to read like a thriller, but What I Thought I Knew … is just that. The book is fascinating, brutally honest, and very funny.” – Annie Pleshette Murphy, ABC News Now

“Cohen is first and foremost a performer—a writer and actor of one-woman plays—so she knows how to build tension to a climax. Her easy intimacy when recounting the events of a pivotal year of her life is amazing.” –Bookpage

“Her witty, dramatic story builds suspense up to the final page.” –MORE Magazine

“I found Cohen’s fast-paced and intimate storytelling drawing me in and compelling me to be a part of her journey. It’s almost like sitting with an especially candid friend and listening to her story.” –Roxanne J. Coady, Women on the Web (wowOwow.com)

“If you’ve ever found yourself or a loved one in the strange terrain where ethics and practical thought conflict, this will clarify and inspire.” –Remedy Magazine

“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, author of Dinner with Friends, 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…. Many people will see themselves reflected in this fascinating story.” –Winnie Holzman, book writer for Wicked the musical

“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, 2008 National Book Award Finalist

“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. As her situation goes from bad to worse to unthinkable, Cohen not only survives but triumphs with integrity, hope and a sense of humor that is matched only by her courage.” –Patricia McCormick, author of Sold, 2007 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, Emmy-, Tony-, SAG-, and Drama Desk Award-winning actress

“Captivating, beautifully written, inspiring, What I Thought I Knew should be read by every medical school student." –Jeffrey Trilling, MD, associate professor and chair, Department of Family Medicine, Stony Brook School of Medicine

“Remarkable… feels like an intimate conversation about the most earth-shaking moments in a woman's life… After reading this book, we may discover what we thought we knew and what we believe we know today.” --Maxine Greene


"So personal and so honest that I almost felt like someone was going to bust me for reading it... Packed with raw emotion, brutal honesty and a story that reads like a thriller...One of the best I've read this year." Barnes & Noble.com

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