Book Added Go to checkout. x

Suddenly, While Living

by Rosie Driffill

A poignant yet laugh-out-loud funny memoir about living with an undiagnosed illness.

Click here to read an exclusive extract from this book.

"Words newspapers use in articles about medically unexplained illnesses that you rarely see in articles about medically explained illnesses: Claim, Insist, Convince, Purported, Evidence, Disputed, Baffled, Phantom, Believe, Imaginary, Controversial, Fantasy, Freaky, Unusual, Bizarre, Real, Not real."

Suddenly, while living, Rosie's body stopped. Too ill to function as she did before, and with a trail of baffled doctors in her wake, Rosie works to find new meaning in this rollercoaster we call life, taking us along for the ride.

Breaking down the walls between memoir, self-help, comedy, and poetry, Suddenly, While Living is Rosie’s telling of her first year with her mystery illness as she grapples with love, loss, religion and, of course, her health. Rosie’s rare gift for writing informally while maintaining a great depth of meaning will have you laughing and crying in equal measure, leaving you with a whole new outlook on life.


Rosie Driffill works as a writer and psychotherapist. Having spent years writing about language, sustainable living and mental health for various publications including the Guardian, Wanderlust and Therapy Today, she began exploring the same themes in poetry. Her debut pamphlet, Blue-Green Algae, is about nature’s demise and the flaws in human nature.

Her memoir of surviving an undiagnosed illness, Suddenly, While Living, was published by Valley Press in 2021. Rosie describes her memoir as being almost as accidental as her illness, but insists poetry is ‘unflinchingly deliberate, a fully-furnished comfort zone.’ She currently lives in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.


Edition: First

Date Published: 2021-01-07

ISBN: 9781912436538

Catalogue Number: VP0174

Number of Pages: 224

Cover design by Jamie McGarry

Cover illustration by Channarong Pherngjanda

Be part of our story. Join the Valley Press newsletter.