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This Is Not My Life: A Memoir of Love, Prison, and Other Complications
Written by Diane Schoemperlen
Published by HarperCollins Canada


 

Diane Schoemperlen’s skilful, conversational writing takes the reader on a harrowing journey through hope and happiness to heartbreak. The brutally honest way she describes her love affair with a prisoner serving time for second degree murder is remarkable. In understated but compelling prose she apportions blame for the failed relationship equally, chronicling her own faults as well as those of her lover. This compelling tale of ill-fated love, told with humour as well as humility is also a powerful indictment of the prison system in Canada.

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From the Publisher’s Summary: For almost six turbulent years, award-winning writer Diane Schoemperlen was involved with a prison inmate serving a life sentence for second-degree murder. The relationship surprised no one more than her. How do you fall in love with a man with a violent past? This Is Not My Life is the story of the romance between Diane and Shane—how they met and fell in love, how they navigated the obstacles of passes and visits and parole hearings, and, eventually, how things fell apart, were reconciled, and then fell apart for good. In this candid, often wry, sometimes disturbing memoir, Schoemperlen takes us inside a complex and difficult relationship as she journeys through the prison system with Shane. Not only did this experience enlarge her capacity for both empathy and compassion, but it also forced her to more deeply examine herself.

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Diane Schoemperlen

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Diane Schoemperlen

is the Governor General’s Award–winning author of twelve works of fiction and non-fiction, most recently By the Book: Stories and Pictures, a collection illustrated with her own full-colour collages, which was longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. She is a recipient of the Marian Engel Award from the Writers’ Trust of Canada.