We Are Not Ourselves

Matthew Thomas

SHORTLISTED FOR THE JAMES TAIT BLACK PRIZE
LONGLISTED FOR THE GUARDIAN FIRST BOOK AWARD
NOMINATED FOR THE FOLIO PRIZE
NAMED A NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES

A stunning, heartbreaking debut – ‘We Are Not Ourselves’ is both the intimate story of a family and an epic of the American Century.

Eileen Leary wants more. Raised in a downtrodden area of new York by hard-drinking, Irish immigrant parents, she dreams of another life: a better job, a bigger house, more respectable friends, a happy family. When she meets Ed Leary, a brilliant young scientist, she thinks she’s found the perfect partner to pursue and share her American Dream with. An indefatigable love enters Eileen’s life – but so too does a pervasive darkness and a loss that will last a lifetime.

Reviews of We Are Not Ourselves

    • ‘Extraordinary … Intensely moving … ‘We Are Not Ourselves’ took 10 years to write, and justifies every one of them.’ Helen Dunmore, Guardian
    • ‘Matthew Thomas’s ambitious first novel presents the life of one woman from cradle to late middle-age, and the changing backdrop of New York. Terrific’ The Times
    • ‘An honest, intimate family story with the power to rock you to your core … One of the frankest novels ever written about love between a caregiver and a person with a degenerative disease … Thomas spares nothing and still makes it clear how deeply in love these soul mates are … [It] will reduce anyone who ever had a parent to helpless tears.’ New York Times
    • ‘Unflinching and heartbreaking … The pain leaps from the page but so too does the love … epic in scale, subject and compassion … If Matthew Thomas writes nothing else, ‘We Are Not Ourselves’ will stand as a magnificent achievement.’ 5* review, Sunday Express
    • ‘The greatest Alzheimer’s novel yet … Visionary and challenging … Marvellous.’ New Yorker
    • ‘A powerfully moving book.’ Chad Harbach