This Is Not A Pity Memoir (Hardcover)

This Is Not A Pity Memoir By Abi Morgan Cover Image
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What happens when your partner of twenty years suddenly believes you’re nothing but a stranger? 

What do you do when your history together is gone?

How do you prove you’re not an imposter in your own life? 

When the partner of Emmy Award–winning screenwriter Abi Morgan abruptly collapsed from a mysterious illness, doctors were concerned that he would not survive. Then, six months later, Jacob woke from his coma, to the delight and relief of his family and friends—except this proved to be anything but a Hollywood ending. Because to Jacob, the woman standing at his bedside, who had cared for him all these months, was not his partner. Not his children’s mother. Not the woman he loved. Sure, she looked like his Abi, but this was an imposter, living someone else’s life.

Finding herself dropped into a real-life night-mare seemingly ripped from the pages of a thriller, Abi must find a way to hang on to not only their past but also their future together, before it slips away from them both. With grace, an irresistible sense of humor and refreshingly raw honesty, This Is Not a Pity Memoir grapples with a journey through fear and redemption few should have to face.

What do you do when you are losing your love? 

You don’t write a pity memoir. 

You write a love story. 

About the Author

ABI MORGAN is a playwright and screenwriter. Her plays include Skinned, Sleeping Around, Splendour (Paines Plough), Tiny Dynamite (Traverse), Tender (Hampstead Theatre), Fugee (National Theatre), 27 (National Theatre of Scotland), Love Song (Frantic Assembly), and The Mistress Contract (Royal Court Theatre). Her television work includes My Fragile Heart, Murder, Sex Traffic, Tsunami – The Aftermath, White Girl, Royal Wedding, Birdsong, The Hour, River, and The Split. Her film writing credits include Brick Lane, Iron Lady, Shame, The Invisible Woman, and Suffragette. She has a number of films currently in development. Morgan has won a number of awards including Baftas and an Emmy for her film and TV work. 

Praise For…

A Shondalands' "Best Books for June 2022"

 "With her trademark deadpan, trenchant wit, and a deeply soulful mindfulness, Abi Morgan takes a breathtaking hike on the cliff edge of a life upended by illness. By turns harrowing, cracking sharp and heartbreaking, it is...comforting to accompany someone with her sense of humor and the absurd on this trip- (this) book is a gift to anyone who has been similarly unmoored by fate and the furies.” — Meryl Streep

“The kind of book you will find yourself saying urgently, over and over, to friends. “Have you read it? Have you read it?" — Caitlin Moran

"Morgan doesn’t, to put it mildly, go in for self-pity. Her book, even when things are at their most bleak, is both very funny and as propulsive as a thriller, ticking along in an adrenalised real time, impossible to put down."  — The Guardian

“Gripping, funny and always honest.”  — David Nicholls

"In This Is Not a Pity Memoir, the talented screenwriter welcomes readers into her world. With authenticity, she writes with a refreshing sense of honestly, frustration, and hope." — Shondaland

"From the very first line I couldn’t stop reading. Abi invites you in to what feels almost like a thriller, then quickly a heart bursting romantic comedy and a devastating drama. Even if this was fiction it would be impossible to stop thinking about this book long after reading. The fact that this is Abi’s real life experience brought forth as this astonishing piece of writing is truly breathtaking. It’s arrestingly honest, funny, profound and exquisitely written. I could not have loved it more."  — Carey Mulligan

"There are no words. I was stunned, in every sense, by this heart-breaking, profound and deeply human memoir. Like CS Lewis on grief, Morgan finds truth and beauty in the darkest places. I feel changed by this book. I will never forget it." — Meg Mason, author of Sorrow & Bliss

“A profound look at the complexities of love, even at its most mundane. Equal parts savage and sublime, this obliterates notions of memory and intimacy with grace and precision….[A] raw and incandescent debut.”  — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A candid, intimate memoir of a harrowing time.” — Kirkus Reviews

"Abi Morgan (Tiny Dynamite), an Emmy-winning British writer for film (The Iron Lady) and television (The Hour), knows good copy when she sees it. She also knows better than to reach for clichés. This Is Not a Pity Memoir is a tragedy chronicle whose success lies in the author's resolutely bromide-free treatment of the harrowing circumstances she lived through." — Shelf Awareness (Starred Review)

“A mash-up of all the things I love in a book – honesty, comedy, pathos and what- happens-next. It’s brutal – in a good way – but above all else it’s a testament to kindness, stickability and enduring love.”  — Kit de Waal

"A powerful, fragmented journey through brain injury." — Library Journal

"One of Britain’s finest screenwriters, Morgan writes  a very moving story about tragedy without ever becoming sentimental. A gripping read." — Bloomberg News

"(This Is Not A Pity Memoir) is a brutally honest autobiography of the catastrophic last few years of her life, when her husband, Jacob, suffered a brain seizure and went into a coma and she simultaneously was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer. What does this have to do with history, you might ask. Everything, as it happens." — Andrew Keen for Literary Hub

"In this emotional memoir, Morgan poetically writes about her husband’s long illness, her own battle with breast cancer, and how she learned to hang on to what matters most. Beautifully weaving the past with the present, she reveals the deep truths and challenging moments of caring for a partner that at times doesn't recognize her, raising two children, saving her troubled relationship, and navigating a successful career, all while living with her own illness and enduring the global pandemic." — Booklist

"An extraordinary tale told extraordinarily well." — Marina Hyde

"I wept. I dared to hope. I felt my heart crack. Exceptional." — Sam Baker

Product Details
ISBN: 9780358682950
ISBN-10: 0358682959
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: June 7th, 2022
Pages: 256
Language: English

How to read more
( Birmingham Museums Trust’s Digital Image Resource shares thousands of images that span decades of Birminghams vibrant past)

How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.


And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.


15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.


50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.


Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.


Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.


Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.



Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.


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