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Rob Delaney to Publish Memoir About Losing His Son to Brain Cancer


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When Rob Delaney lost his two-year-old son Henry to brain cancer in 2018, he became a member of a club no parent wants to join.

Now, the BAFTA-winning actor and comedian is penning a poignant memoir about his experience — and grief-filled journey in the aftermath of Henry’s death — to help others. “Any time I’ve spoken or written publicly about Henry, countless people have gotten in touch with me and said how much it helped them,” the Catastrophe co-creator tells The Hollywood Reporter. “That’s not because I’m anything special, it’s because I’m giving voice to the experience of bereaved parents and siblings.”

A Heart That Works will trace the journey of Delaney’s family (including his wife, Leah, and two older sons) as they left their hometown of Los Angeles for London, experiencing the shock of his newly-heightened fame (thanks to the Amazon Prime series’ success) alongside the devastation of Henry’s brain tumor diagnosis. The author, who also published a humor memoir in 2013, will take readers through the brutality of childhood cancer treatments and his search for peace in its aftermath. “Time will tell if I’m ready to tell this story,” Delaney says. “But any time I can help this community that I still can’t believe I’m apart of, it’s an honor to do so. The honor and my love of Henry — and his mom and brothers — mingle together in a way that feels right.”

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Rob Delaney and Henry

Courtesy of Subject

The memoir is set for a November 29 release in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook read by the author and will be published by Julie Grau of the newly-relaunched Spiegel and Grau. “As a writer, Rob has the unique ability to conjure absurdity and profundity in a single breath,’ says Grau, who also worked with Delaney in 2013. “It has never been used to greater effect than in writing about his family’s tragedy. The raw truth in these pages will speak to every reader and leave you changed in your perspective about the worst, and the best, life has to offer.”

Delaney tells THR that, surprisingly, he’s enjoyed writing the new book, even as it involves massively less collaborative work than the film and television projects he’s used to. “Even though I’m alone as I write, I’m accompanied by beautiful memories of Henry,” he says. “And because I’ve had the massive good fortune to have other things I’ve written get published or broadcast on television, I know that the book actually will be read. Even if it’s just by 11 other bereaved parents.”

Delaney is represented by Pilar Queen at United Talent Agency, working in partnership with Avalon.

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