Emma Brockes - Author

About the Author

Emma Brockes writes for the Guardian Weekend magazine and contributes 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 she won the Philip Geddes Memorial Prize for Journalism. She is the author of one previous book - What Would Barbra Do? - about her love of musicals. She lives in New York.

Featured books by Emma Brockes

She Left Me the Gun My Mother's Life Before Me

She Left Me the Gun My Mother's Life Before Me

Author: Emma Brockes Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/02/2014

When Emma Brockes was ten years old, her mother said 'One day I will tell you the story of my life and you will be amazed.' Growing up in a tranquil English village, Emma knew very little of her mother's life before her. She knew Paula had grown up in South Africa and had seven siblings. She had been told stories about deadly snakes and hailstones the size of golf balls. There was mention, once, of a trial. But most of the past was a mystery. When her mother dies of cancer, Emma - by then a successful journalist at the Guardian - is free to investigate the untold story. Her search begins in the Colindale library but then takes her to South Africa, to the extended family she has never met and their accounts of a childhood so different to her own. She encounters versions of the life her mother chose to leave behind - and realises what a gift her mother gave her. Part investigation, part travelogue, part elegy, She Left Me the Gun is a gripping, funny and clear-eyed account of a writer's search for her mother's story.

Other books by Emma Brockes

An Excellent Choice

An Excellent Choice

Author: Emma Brockes Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/06/2018

I mumble 'I need to order some sperm'. The receptionist puts me through to a technician to see if what I want is available. 'Number?' says the man. I give him the reference for my sperm donor. There is a clacking of keys, followed by a short pause. Then with the smoothness of a sommelier fielding a wine order at dinner, he says 'An excellent choice'. 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!). Her partner, L, has her own child. Emma needs sperm, a doctor, and not to bankrupt herself before any child arrives. And that's just the beginning - there are a million choices to make when you are taking the untraditional route to motherhood. Is she ready to be a single mother? Is there a way of talking about any of this honestly without being too defensive or too jolly? Should the sperm donor be a writer like her, or someone with completely different talents (something equally interesting, just not too interesting ie. a mime artist)? Are high-waisted postnatal support pants essential or optional? What will her baby be to L? Will they be parallel parenting? Proximal parenting? Parenting in each other's general direction? Brockes navigates these decisions against a background of uninvited opinion, scolding, and the general hysteria that always accompanies a woman's decision to have (or not have) children. With generous heart and humour, An Excellent Choice examines essential questions about motherhood and the modern family - and asks how and why so many women are choosing to solo parent.

Excellent Choice

Excellent Choice

Author: Emma Brockes Format: eBook Release Date: 26/06/2018

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 "e;futzing"e; around, have her eggs counted, and "e;get cracking"e;; 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/GYNall 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 parentsand 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.From the Hardcover edition.

She Left Me the Gun My Mother's Life Before Me

She Left Me the Gun My Mother's Life Before Me

Author: Emma Brockes Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/02/2014

When Emma Brockes was ten years old, her mother said 'One day I will tell you the story of my life and you will be amazed.' Growing up in a tranquil English village, Emma knew very little of her mother's life before her. She knew Paula had grown up in South Africa and had seven siblings. She had been told stories about deadly snakes and hailstones the size of golf balls. There was mention, once, of a trial. But most of the past was a mystery. When her mother dies of cancer, Emma - by then a successful journalist at the Guardian - is free to investigate the untold story. Her search begins in the Colindale library but then takes her to South Africa, to the extended family she has never met and their accounts of a childhood so different to her own. She encounters versions of the life her mother chose to leave behind - and realises what a gift her mother gave her. Part investigation, part travelogue, part elegy, She Left Me the Gun is a gripping, funny and clear-eyed account of a writer's search for her mother's story.

She Left Me the Gun

She Left Me the Gun

Author: Emma Brockes Format: eBook Release Date: 16/05/2013

A journalist struggles to unearth the story of her mother's resilience and secrecy following an unbelievable childhood trauma in South Africa ';One day I will tell you the story of my life,' promises Emma Brockes's mother, ';and you will be amazed.' Despite her mother's tales of a rustic childhood in South Africa and bohemian years in London, Brockes grew up knowing that some crucial pieces of the past were left unspoken. A mystery to her friends and family, Brockes's mother, Paula, was glamorous, no-nonsense, and totally out of place in their quaint English village. What compelled her to emigrate to England was never explained, nor what empowered her tremendous strengths and strange fears. Looking to unearth the truth after Paula's death, Brockes begins a dangerous journey into the landand the lifeher mother fled from years before. She Left Me the Gun: My Mother's Life Before Me is a tale of true transformation, the story of a young woman who reinvented herself so completely that her previous life seemed to simply vanishand of a daughter who transcends her mother's fears and reclaims an abandoned past. Brockes soon learns that Paula's father was a drunk megalomaniac who terrorized Paula and her seven half siblings for years. He is ultimately taken to court and vindicated of all chargesbut not before Paula shoots him five times, and fails to kill him. She books passage to London, never to return. She Left Me the Gun carries Brockes to South Africa to meet her seven aunts and uncles, to weigh their stories against her mother's silences, and to understand one of the world's most beautiful yet bloody countries. 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 buried in government archives the startling court records that prove he was secretly imprisoned for murder years before he first married. An extraordinary work of psychological suspense and forensic memoir, 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 herself and her daughter.

She Left Me the Gun My Mother's Life Before Me

She Left Me the Gun My Mother's Life Before Me

Author: Emma Brockes Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/04/2013

When Emma Brockes was ten years old, her mother said 'One day I will tell you the story of my life and you will be amazed.' Growing up in a tranquil English village, Emma knew very little of her mother's life before her. She knew Paula had grown up in South Africa and had seven siblings. She had been told stories about deadly snakes and hailstones the size of golf balls. There was mention, once, of a trial. But most of the past was a mystery. When her mother dies of cancer, Emma - by then a successful journalist at the Guardian - is free to investigate the untold story. Her search begins in the Colindale library but then takes her to South Africa, to the extended family she has never met and their accounts of a childhood so different to her own. She encounters versions of the life her mother chose to leave behind - and realises what a gift her mother gave her. Part investigation, part travelogue, part elegy, She Left Me the Gun is a gripping, funny and clear-eyed account of a writer's search for her mother's story.

What Would Barbra Do?

What Would Barbra Do?

Author: Emma Brockes Format: Paperback Release Date: 11/02/2008

Film musicals: you either love them or they make you want to kill yourself slowly with plastic cutlery. Nothing has the power to lift your heart or turn your stomach like Howard Keel in fake sideburns singing Bless Your Beautiful Hide or Julie Andrews singing...well, just about anything.There are few situations where the question What would Barbra do? doesn't have relevance in a world which is much better lived to a soundtrack of show-tunes. This is a book for people who know that * People don't tend to die in musicals, but those who do deserve it * True love waits long enough for an element of mistaken identity to be introduced (especially if one of the couple is a Nazi) * Women carry the show. * Talented women wind up alone... * ...But they have the consolation of the torch song, which in Hollywood musicals is more fulfilling than a husband.

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