Every now and again, we like to detour off our normal reading path and go, gulp, more dramatic and serious (but still with a humorous tone of course). And when we read the rave reviews for Alice Eve Cohen's memoir, What I Thought I Knew, that Oprah called "darkly hilarious", we knew we had to snatch up a copy and dive in. And with Lisa being pregnant, she wants to read about all things baby. So Alice's memoir about her surprise pregnancy at the age of forty-four definitely intrigued her (and made her feel a little better about having her first child at the, er, not so young age of thirty-seven). The story: After her divorce, Alice was engaged to a great guy and raising her adopted daughter when she started experiencing strange symptoms. She was diagnosed with an abdominal tumor and rushed in for an emergency CAT scan that revealed the real cause- she was six months pregnant! But this was only the beginning of many pregnancy related shockers that were all the more difficult to deal with since she hadn't received prenatal care and didn't have insurance coverage for her high risk pregnancy. As she tried to wrap her head around what's happening and friends and doctors drown her with advice about ethics, she makes lists called, "What I Know." The best part about this book, as many who have read it agree, is that you feel as if you're reading a diary as Alice skillfully uses humor to tell what could otherwise be a very dark story.
And if you leave a comment today, you'll be entered to win one of five copies of her memoir that People Magazine calls "a gripping story about one of the most wrenching decisions a woman can face."
And now Alice is here! Revealing 5 things that aren't in her fantastic memoir...
1. There were two Alice E. Cohen’s in my graduating class at Princeton—Alice Eve Cohen and Alice Elizabeth Cohen. I secretly worried that the University admitted me by accident, intending to admit only the other Alice E. Cohen.
2. In what must have been a previous life, I was part of a band called Music for Homemade Instruments. We built instruments from found objects—pots and pans, cardboard tubes, conduit pipes, you name it—and performed anywhere we were invited to play, including street fairs, National Public Radio, roof tops, and The Smithsonian Institution.
3. I’ve just been hired for an unusual job. My cousin is donating her collection of forty Pre-Columbian flutes to the American Museum of Natural History, and she has asked me to play them for a video the museum will be filming. I know how to play these instruments from my previous life as an ancient Aztec princess. One of the flutes is called the Terror Flute…It was played during ritual sacrifices of ancient Aztec princesses.
4. In another previous life, I wrote for the Nickelodeon television show, Are You Afraid of the Dark?—sort of a Twilight Zone scary show for kids. I didn’t tell the producer that I’m a total wimp, that I’m utterly petrified of horror in any medium, and that the Are You Afraid of the Dark episodes he asked me to watch terrified me. My first published book was an Are You Afraid of the Dark? novel. Until my memoir was published last year, Amazon classified me as a “children’s horror writer.”
5. In my present life, I’m a card-carrying member of the United Auto Workers, which is very strange, since I don't own a car and barely know how change a tire. But the UAW unionized the part-time faculty at The New School, where I teach playwriting and solo theatre. So if you want your car to learn how to write plays and perform monologues, just call on me!