Culture Street

Maggie O'Farrell has penned her first non-fiction book, which will be published on August 24, 2017.

I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death is a series of essays, each one describing how "when death has brushed past" O’Farrell she became more determined to embrace life.

Her brushes with death include months in hospital as a child, after contracting a rare illness, an encounter with a disturbed man on a mountainside, and a severe illness in rural China. O’Farrell also opens up about caring for a child with a life-threatening medical condition.

"At times," O’Farrell has said, "when my child’s life has been under threat, I have asked myself, how do you carry on, how do you forge ahead, when mortality feels so close, when death is a daily possibility in your house? I wanted to write this book to explain that life is possible, even in the face of danger, even within medical limitations, and to show my daughter that she is not alone."

She added: "I never thought I would write a memoir. It began as a private project, to explain something about survival to my daughter, for when she is older, but as I wrote, it somehow expanded into I am, I am, I am, which I am certain is the only non-fiction book I will ever write."

Maggie O’Farrell is the author of seven novels. Her most recent novel is This Must Be the Place was shortlisted for the 2016 Costa Novel Award.

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