Now optioned for TV by Lime Pictures
Guardian readers favourite books of 2017
When Emily Morris was a 22-year-old student, she found out she was pregnant. The father of her baby told her to ‘enjoy your impending shitty, snotty, vomitty twenties’ and then disappeared. Despite not feeling maternal, Emily decided to go ahead with the pregnancy. She left university, moved back to the quiet town she was from to live with her mum, and braced herself for life being turned upside down.
In her memoir, Emily shares the loneliness, alienation and adventure she experienced finding her way as a single parent.
My Shitty Twenties started life as an award-winning and immensely popular blog. Moving, thoughtful, funny and wise, it is now a book that is heartbreaking, uplifting and an inspiration to any parent who has no idea what they are doing.
UK production company Lime Pictures has optioned Emily Morris’s memoir My Shitty Twenties (Salt) for TV. Executive producer Louise Sutton optioned rights from Becky Thomas of Johnson & Alcock. The book will be adapted by Amy Roberts and Loren McLaughlan, who’ve worked on programmes such as Shameless, Cold Feet and Call the Midwife.
‘The freshest, frankest, wisest, ballsiest memoir I've read. Daring, eloquent, and important: a glorious tale of one woman’s triumph over the past and her own fears as she learns how to be a single parent in a world where ‘single’ is still a dirty word. I cried heaps and adored every page.’ —Emma Jane Unsworth
‘It’s refreshing to see this northern woman’s tale.’ —Antonia Charlesworth, The Big Issue in the North
‘This is not a book about a baby but rather a young woman becoming a mother, who would have preferred not to be single but just about coped anyway. The open and honest style of writing is refreshing and a welcome addition to the often infuriatingly upbeat accounts of parenting, a task that may be rewarding but is rarely easy. Emily’s treatment by the smug mums, signaling their virtues in the guise of advice or minor complaints, reminded me of my own experiences. Guilt and pressure to conform are ever present demons.’ —Jackie Law, Never Imitate Blog
‘I'm always loathe to use the Journey cliche but My Shitty Twenties is designed to take the reader on just that, in the company of the author, and it works exceptionally well – even if you can't immediately relate to the situations that Emily finds herself in, the style and panache with which they're conveyed makes them immensely readable and hugely enjoyable.’ —Luke Marlowe, Disclaimer Magazine
‘When the baby arrives, things are no better. Judgment appears at mother-and-baby groups, baby yoga and in the local park. Even her pram is judged. Emily attempts to rise above the stigma attached to “unmarried mothers” and wades through her shitty twenties with a child on her hip and with steadfast determination. A refreshingly honest account of single-motherhood and the realities facing young mothers today.’ —Margaret Madden, The Irish Times
‘I honestly think that this is an incredible memoir. It’s thought provoking and shows the best of a change in your life … I absolutely loved it and can’t wait to see what Emily does next.’ —Chloe Metzger
‘I absolutely loved this witty, warm and honest account of Emily Morris’s twenties when she was left, literally, holding the baby. I have to say that although I wasn’t in Emily’s difficult position – which she handles brilliantly, by the way – so much of the book resonated with me and I found it a relief to know that I hadn’t been the only mum who struggled to get out of the house before late afternoon (sometimes at all), who felt out of place next to the other mums at baby groups, who felt judged and was hounded out of cafes by grumpy old people. If Emily has raised her son with even a fraction of the warmth and humanity that emanates from her in waves through the pages of her book, he’ll be a wonderful human being. ’ —Nikki Bryce, Splendid Stories
‘It’s hard and unrelenting work being a single mother. The rewards are huge. Managing work, the expectation and assumptions of strangers and friends and family is tiring, although often amusing afterwards. There are bad days, abuse by strangers, misrepresentations. There is also unexpected kindness and luck. And in writing My Shitty Twenties she has built a history to share with her son.’ —Book Word
‘Moving, thoughtful, funny and wise, it is now a book that is heartbreaking, uplifting and an inspiration to any parent who has no idea what they are doing.’ —Loe Arvustusi