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Penguin: Adult Hardcover & Trade Paperback Summer 2019

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Panic and Joy
My Solo Path to Motherhood
By (author): Emma Brockes
9780143110316 Paperback, Trade English General Trade BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs Jun 25, 2019
$23.00 CAD
Active 5.2 x 8 x 0.8 in 304 pages Penguin Two Penguin Books
An explosive and hilarious memoir about the exceptional and life-changing decision to conceive a child on one’s own via assisted reproduction

When British journalist, memoirist, and New York-transplant Emma Brockes decides to become pregnant, she quickly realizes that, being single, 37, and in the early stages of a same-sex relationship, she’s going to have to be untraditional about it. From the moment she decides to have her eggs counted, and “get cracking”; through multiple trials of IUI, which she is intrigued to learn can be purchased in bulk packages, just like Costco; to the births of her twins, which her girlfriend gamely documents with selfie-stick, Brockes is never any less than bracingly honest about her extraordinary journey to motherhood.

Quizzing her friends on the pros and cons of personally knowing one’s sperm donor and grappling with the existential brain-melt of flipping through donor catalogues, Brockes writes with charming self-effacing humor about being a British woman undergoing fertility treatment in the US, poking fun at the starkly different attitude of Americans. Anxious that biological children might not be possible, she wonders, should she resent society for how it regards and treats women who try and fail to have children? Brockes deftly uses her own story to examine how and why an increasing number of women are using fertility treatments in order to become parents—and are doing it solo. Bringing the reader every step of the way with mordant wit and remarkable candor, Brockes shares the frustrations, embarrassments, surprises, and, finally, joys of her momentous and excellent choice.

Story Locale: New York City

FANTASTIC RESPONSE: Brockes was interviewed on ABC’s Good Morning America directly following publication, as a response to her New York Times op-ed, and featured on Medium, in The Guardian, and in The New York Post, all discussion-sparking excerpts and articles.

HILARIOUS AND SMART: Brockes is a gay woman and successful journalist transplanted to New York from Britain, a country where all citizens enjoy socialized medicine and free access to an array of medical services. Pregnant stateside, Brockes brings to bear a delightful British sense of humor and a fascinating outsider’s perspective on all the idiosyncrasies of the US healthcare system.

TIMELY AND GROUNDBREAKING: Choosing to undergo fertility treatments as a single mother is still relatively uncharted social territory, as Brockes is uncomfortably reminded every time she is asked “who’s the father?” But it may not be in the future. AN EXCELLENT CHOICE grapples with what it means to embrace the amazing new reproductive possibilities women today and in the future are and will be afforded by technology.

DEEPLY PERSONAL: As Brockes takes the reader on her journey, with startlingly honesty, generosity and good humor, she lingers on the low as well as the high points: the physical pain; the sadness and frustration that overcome her when she fails to conceive; her immense joy and pride when she learns she is pregnant with twins; and her giddiness as she awaits a C section, ready to meet her girls.

EMMA BROCKES is the author of She Left Me the Gun: My Mother’s Life Before Me. She writes for The Guardian’s Weekend magazine and has contributed to The New York Times, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle. She is the winner of two British Press Awards—Young Journalist of the Year and Feature Writer of the Year—and while at Oxford won the Philip Geddes Memorial Prize for Journalism. She lives in New York.

Author Residence: New York

Marketing: None

Publicity: Online publicity

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Author Social Media: @emmabrockes

“It seems as if almost everyone bearing a child is writing a book about it, but Brockes is too original a personality to fall in quietly with the rest. A disarming and casually hilarious take on the opposite of co-parenting.”—Kirkus

“[A] thoughtful memoir…Brockes takes readers on a fascinating and sometimes frustrating journey through fertility treatments, dashed hopes and delays, often accenting her tale with clever comparisons of the American and the British health care systems…An uplifting, well-told story.”—Publishers Weekly

“Brockes’ second memoir will have readers caught up in the excitement and anxiety of pregnancy along with her. Her humor and empathy shine through, even during her most challenging moments. Whether parents, aspiring parents, or happily child-free, readers will enjoy Brockes’ intimate story of how she became a mother.”—Booklist

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