New Release Books by Emma Brockes

Emma Brockes is the author of One Life (2021), Rebel Chef (2021), One Life: Young Readers Edition (2021), Panic and Joy (2019), An Excellent Choice (2018) and other 3 books.

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One Life

release date: Sep 07, 2021
One Life
An instant New York Times bestseller! “Rapinoe's 'signature pose' from the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup is synonymous to the feeling we got when finishing this book: heart full, arms wide and ready to take up space in this world.”—USA Today Megan Rapinoe, Olympic gold medalist and two-time Women's World Cup champion, reveals for the first time her life both on and off the field. Guided by her personal journey into social justice, brimming with humor, humanity, and joy, she urges all of us to ask ourselves, What will you do with your one life? Only four years old when she kicked her first soccer ball, Megan Rapinoe developed a love – and clear talent – for the game at a young age. But it was her parents who taught her that winning was much less important than how she lived her life. From childhood on, Rapinoe always did what she could to stand up for what was right—even if it meant going up against people who disagreed. In One Life, Megan Rapinoe invites readers on a remarkable journey, looking back on both her victories and her failures, and pulls back the curtain on events we know only from the headlines. After the 2011 World Cup, discouraged by how few athletes were open about their sexuality, Rapinoe decided to come out publicly as gay and use her platform to advocate for marriage equality. Recognizing the power she had to bring attention to critical issues, in 2016 she took a knee during the national anthem in solidarity with former NFL player Colin Kaepernick to protest racial injustice and police brutality—the first high-profile white athlete to do so. The backlash was immediate, but it couldn’t compare to the overwhelming support. Rapinoe became a force of change. Here for the first time, Rapinoe reflects upon some of the most pivotal moments in her life and career – from her realization in college that she was gay, through the disputes with soccer coaches and officials over her decision to kneel, to the first time she met her now-fiancé WNBA champion Sue Bird, and up through suing the US Soccer Federation over gender discrimination and equal pay. Throughout, Rapinoe makes clear the obligation we all have to speak up, and the impact each of us can have on our communities. Deeply personal and inspiring, One Life reveals that real, concrete change lies within all of us, and asks: If we all have the same resource—this one precious life, made up of the decisions we make every day—what are you going to do? "One Life makes it clear that Rapinoe’s greatest accomplishments may ultimately come away from the soccer pitch. She’s a new kind of American hero."—San Francisco Chronicle

Rebel Chef

release date: Jun 01, 2021
Rebel Chef
“Dominique Crenn is a hero to so many of us, both inside and out of the restaurant industry. She has unlimited courage to always follow her own path, to carve her own way in the world. This book, and Dominique’s whole life, show that everything and anything is possible if you believe in yourself and you keep pushing forward, always forward.” —José Andrés The inspiring and deeply personal memoir from highly acclaimed chef Dominique Crenn When Dominique Crenn decided to become a chef, she knew it was a near impossible dream in France where almost all restaurant kitchens were run by men. She left her home and everything she knew to move to San Francisco, and almost thirty years later was awarded three Michelin stars in 2018 for her influential restaurant Atelier Crenn, the first female chef in the United States to receive this honor—no small feat for someone who hadn’t been formally trained. In Rebel Chef, Crenn tells of her untraditional coming-of-age as a chef. Adopted as a toddler, she didn’t resemble her parents, and was haunted by a past she knew nothing about. But after years of working to fill this blank space, Crenn embraced the power her history gave her to be whoever she wants to be. In this disarmingly honest look at one woman’s evolution from a daring young chef to a respected activist, Crenn reflects on the years she spent working in the male-centric world of professional kitchens and tracks her career from struggling cook to running one of the world’s most celebrated restaurants. At once a tale of personal discovery and a tribute to unrelenting determination, Rebel Chef is the story of one woman making a place for herself in the kitchen, and in the world.

One Life: Young Readers Edition

release date: Jan 01, 2021
One Life: Young Readers Edition
"Adapted for young readers! Join Olympic gold medalist, two-time Women's World Cup champion, and trailblazing activist Megan Rapinoe in the fight for equality and justice in this middle grade adaptation of her New York Times bestselling memoir, One Life"--

Panic and Joy

release date: Jun 25, 2019
Panic and Joy
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, thirty-seven, 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 stop "futzing" around, have her eggs counted, and "get cracking"; through multiple rounds of IUI; to the births of her twins, which her girlfriend gamely documents with her iPhone and selfie stick, Brockes brings the reader every step of the way--all the while exploring the cultural circumstances and choices that have brought her to this point. With mordant wit and remarkable candor, Brockes shares the frustrations, embarrassments, surprises, and, finally, joys of her momentous and excellent choice.

An Excellent Choice

release date: Jun 26, 2018
An Excellent Choice
From the author of She Left Me The Gun, 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 stop "futzing" around, 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 her iPhone and selfie-stick, Brockes is never any less than bluntly and bracingly honest about her extraordinary journey to motherhood. She quizzes her friends on the pros and cons of personally knowing one's sperm donor, grapples with esoteric medical jargon and the existential brain-melt of flipping through donor catalogues and conjures with the politics of her Libertarian OB/GYN—all the while exploring the cultural circumstances and choices that have brought her to this point. 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.

Panic & Joy

release date: Jul 02, 2019
Panic & Joy
Emma Brockes is thirty-seven, lives alone, and wants children. She is in a relationship (good!) but they aren't doing the parenting together (weird!). Emma needs sperm, a doctor, and not to bankrupt herself. And that's just the beginning - there are a million choices to make when taking the untraditional route to motherhood. Then there's the uninvited opinions, scolding and general hysteria that always accompanies a woman's decision to have (or not to have) children. With generous heart and humour, Panic & Joy examines essential questions about motherhood and the modern family.

She Left Me the Gun

release date: Jun 24, 2014
She Left Me the Gun
"One of those memoirs that remind you why you liked memoirs in the first place... It has the density of a very good novel... As you do with the best writers, you feel lucky to be in Ms. Brockes’s company." --Dwight Garner, The New York Times A chilling work of psychological suspense and forensic memoir, She Left Me the Gun is a tale of true transformation: the story of a young woman who reinvented herself so completely that her previous life seemed simply to vanish, and of a daughter who transcends her mother’s fears and reclaims an abandoned past. “One day I will tell you the story of my life,” promises Emma Brockes’s mother, “and you will be amazed.” Brockes grew up hearing only pieces of her mother’s past—stories of a rustic childhood in South Africa, glimpses of a bohemian youth in London—and yet knew that crucial facts were still in the dark. A mystery to her friends and family, Paula was clearly a strong, self-invented woman; glamorous, no-nonsense, and frequently out of place in their quaint English village. In awe of Paula’s larger-than-life personality, Brockes never asked why her mother emigrated to England or why she never returned to South Africa; never questioned the source of her mother’s strange fears or tremendous strengths. Looking to unearth the truth after Paula’s death, Brockes begins a dangerous journey into the land—and the life—her mother fled from years before. Brockes soon learns that Paula’s father was a drunk megalomaniac who terrorized Paula and her seven half-siblings for years. After finally mustering the courage to take her father to court, Paula is horrified to see the malevolent man vindicated of all charges. As Brockes discovers, this crushing defeat left Paula with a choice: take her own life, or promise herself never to be intimidated or unhappy again. Ultimately she chooses life and happiness by booking one-way passage to London—but not before shooting her father five times, and failing to kill him. Smuggling the fateful gun through English customs would be Paula’s first triumph in her new life. She Left Me the Gun carries Brockes to South Africa to meet her seven aunts and uncles, weighing their stories against her mother’s silences. Brockes learns of the violent pathologies and racial propaganda in which her grandfather was inculcated, sees the mine shafts and train yards where he worked as an itinerant mechanic, and finds in buried government archives the court records proving his murder conviction years before he first married. Brockes also learns of the turncoat stepmother who may have perjured herself to save her husband, dooming Paula and her siblings to the machinations of their hated father. Most of all, She Left Me the Gun reveals how Paula reinvented herself to lead a full, happy life. As she follows her mother’s footsteps back to South Africa, Brockes begins to find the wellsprings of her mother’s strength, the tremendous endurance which allowed Paula to hide secrets from even her closest friends and family. But as the search through cherished letters and buried documents deepens, Brockes realizes with horror that her mother’s great success as a parent was concealing her terrible past—and that unearthing these secrets threatens to undo her mother’s work. A beguiling and unforgettable journey across generations and continents, She Left Me the Gun chronicles Brockes’s efforts to walk the knife-edge between understanding her mother’s unspeakable traumas and embracing the happiness she chose for her daughter.

What Would Barbra Do?

release date: Oct 13, 2009
What Would Barbra Do?
Emma Brockes didn't always love musicals. In fact, she hated them. One of her earliest (and most painful) memories is of her mother singing "The Hills Are Alive" while young Emma crossed the street to go to her babysitting gig. According to her mother, the music would keep muggers at bay. According to Emma, it warded off friends, a social life, and any chance of being normal. As she grew older, however, these same songs continued to resonate in her head, first like a broken record and then as a fond reminder of her mother's love. Some people would slice off their arm with a plastic knife before they'd sit through Fiddler on the Roof or The Sound of Music. But musicals are everywhere, and it's about time someone asked why. From An American in Paris to Oklahoma!, Brockes explores the history, art, and politics of musicals, and how they have become an indelible part of our popular culture. Smartly written and incredibly witty, this is a book for people who understand that there are few situations in which the question "What would Barbra do?" doesn't have relevance, in a world much better lived to a soundtrack of show tunes. At the heart of What Would Barbra Do? is a touching story about a daughter, a mother, and how musicals kept them together. Part memoir, part musical history tour, it will keep you laughing and singing all at once.
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