Book Details

Harper Collins Logo

To read e-books on the HC Reader App, download it on:

This Is Not My Life

A Memoir of Love, Prison, and Other Complications

RBC Taylor Prize

About the Book

From the Governor General’s Award winning author of Forms of Devotion, Our Lady of the Lost and Found and By the Book

“Never once in my life had I dreamed of being in bed with a convicted killer.”

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? How do you date someone who is in prison? 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 passes and parole and the obstacles facing a long-term prisoner attempting to return to society, and how, eventually, things fell apart. While no relationship takes place in a vacuum, this is never more true than when that relationship is with a federal inmate. In this candid, often wry, sometimes disturbing memoir, Schoemperlen takes us inside this complex and difficult relationship as she journeys through the prison system with Shane. Not only did this relationship enlarge her capacity for both empathy and compassion, but it also forced her to more deeply examine herself.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

With scalding candor, bravery, and a considerable amount of humor, Diane Schoemperlen has written a moving memoir about unexpected love. She reminds us what love is, and how even if it can’t always have a fairy-tale ending, it nonetheless offers redemption. —Lauren B. Davis, author of Against a Darkening Sky

Fascinating, compelling and honest, Schoemperlen’s memoir lays out the often harrowing challenges in loving a convicted murderer who has been shaped by thirty years inside the prison system. I couldn’t put it down. —Susan Swan, author of The Western Light

What a brave examination of the entrapment of the heart! Both confessional and confident, This Is Not My Life illuminates the hidden yet incessant desire, at all costs, for love. —Michael Winter, author of Minister Without Portfolio

“This Is Not My Life crackles with drama, irony, heartache and sheer authenticity.” —Winnipeg Free Press

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781443434225
  • ISBN 10: 1443434221
  • Imprint: HarperAvenue
  • On Sale: 04/23/2016
  • Pages: 368
  • List Price: 13.99 CAD

This Is Not My Life by Diane Schoemperlen

The broadest selection of online bookstores. The links will take you to the web site's home page.

Other Booksellers

The broadest selection of online bookstores. The links will take you to the Web site's home page.


International Customers

If you are located outside Canada, the best way to order online is to choose from the following bookstores listed by region and country.

HarperCollins Reader

We created the HC Reader App to be a simple way to read our e-books. Our App is available for download on iOS and Android devices.

We strongly encourage using the HarperCollins reader application since it supports the type of file we are using. You may experience some technical difficulties using a different reader application.


  1. You need a HarperCollins Account. If you purchase/have purchased an e-book from HarperCollins, this is your account login and password. If not, please click here to register.
  2. Download the HC Reader App on iOS or Android. Enter your HarperCollins account username and password. Please note that your username is an e-mail address.
  3. Download your e-book and enjoy!