Books

Michelle Parise's memoir-style CBC podcast Alone: A Love Story to be adapted into book

Alone: A Love Story chronicles Parise's journey falling in and out of love, getting married, getting divorced and her life as a single mother. The book will be published in the spring of 2020.
Michelle Parise is the host of the CBC podcast Alone: A Love Story. (Pascal Chiarello)

Michelle Parise is publishing the manuscript that became her award-winning memoir-style podcast Alone: A Love Story in the spring of 2020.

The podcast chronicles Parise falling in and out of love, getting married and divorced, and becoming a single mother.

The podcast has run for three seasons on CBC. It won gold at the New York Festivals Radio Awards in 2018.

Parise originally wrote the podcast as a three-part memoir in 2013.

She hopes readers of the book will find the same sense of connection that podcast listeners have to her story.

"For the past year and a half I have received messages and real actual mail(!) on a daily basis from people all over the world — men, women, old, young, gay and straight. They all say the same thing: 'Thank you.'

"I was able to write about my specific story in such a way that it got at the core of what it is to be a human being who loves and loses, feels rejection and disappointment, is betrayed or has betrayed, hit rock bottom and climbed back up, failed again and again, struggled to understand the complexities of others and not be undone by their actions," Parise said in an email to CBC Books.

"It's hard to be human. It's messy. For everyone. I didn't write an earth-shattering story. But in telling it, I reached people who didn't even go through the same things that I did, they went through their own things and when they heard me talk about my life, they heard me talking about them."

The book was acquired by Dundurn associate publisher Kathryn Lane, who read the manuscript before hearing the podcast.

"I was instantly pulled in by Michelle's clear, honest voice," said Lane in an email to CBC Books.

"The book has a breeziness to it, due partly to the short paragraphs, which come from its original spoken form. Michelle has done considerable work restructuring the narrative so that it works better in book form."

Parise said the book will contain new stories as well as more fleshed-out versions of the stories featured in the podcast.

"I think of it as a companion piece. The way you see a movie you love, then go to the bookstore and buy the book and read it all. Even though you already know what's going to happen, you don't care, you want to consume it again," said Parise.

"The thing about good storytelling is that it sticks with you, and each time you engage with it, regardless of the medium, it affects you differently."

The film and TV rights to Parise's story were sold to Sienna Films in 2018.

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