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M.E. book wins big at The People's Book Prize

July 28, 2020

Enormous congratulations to Jessica Taylor-Bearman for her recent success in winning the People’s Book Prize for non-fiction for her book ‘A Girl Behind Dark Glasses.’

‘A Girl Behind Dark Glasses’ tells of Jessica’s experiences with severe M.E. as a teenager. Having now had M.E. for over 14 years, Jessica’s illness changed her from a regular 15 year-old girl in 2006 to being continually hospitalised for four years. During this time, she relied on feeding tubes for nutrition and was unable to leave her hospital bed.

The People’s Book Prize is voted for by the public and readers. Jessica explained on their website that the title of her book reflects how she was treated in hospital:

“I couldn’t actually see without having dark glasses on… When people couldn’t see my eyes it was really interesting because they treated me differently because they couldn’t see me.

“I had doctors tell me that there was nothing more that they could do and that my parents had to just live in hope that I would get through it. And so what I really wanted to show is the reality of this very severe condition that is really not spoken about.”

Speaking of what writing ‘A Girl Behind Dark Glasses’ meant to her, Jessica said:

“My hope and my belief was that if I could write this down then my life was still worth something.

“Unfortunately there are quite a few people in the world who are in exactly the same position that I was in but they don’t have a voice. They don’t have any way to get people to hear them.”

We’re thrilled for Jessica and the recognition her work is receiving, both for herself and for M.E. as a whole. You can read Jessica’s reaction to her People’s Book Prize win at her blog.