Misfits: A Personal Manifesto (Paperback)
From the brilliant mind of Michaela Coel, creator and star of I May Destroy You and Chewing Gum, comes a passionate and inspired declaration against fitting in.
When invited to deliver the MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Michaela Coel touched a lot of people with her striking revelations about race, class and gender, but the person most significantly impacted was Coel herself. Building on her celebrated speech, Misfits immerses readers in her vision through powerful allegory and deeply personal anecdotes—from her coming of age in London public housing to her discovery of theater and her love for storytelling. And she tells of her reckoning with trauma and metamorphosis into a champion for herself, inclusivity, and radical honesty.
With inspiring insight and wit, Coel lays bare her journey so far and invites us to reflect on our own. By embracing our differences, she says, we can transform our lives. An artist to her core, Coel holds up the path of the creative as an emblem of our need to regard one another with care and respect—and transparency.
Misfits is a triumphant call for honesty, empathy and inclusion. Championing “misfits” everywhere, this timely, necessary book is a rousing coming-to-power manifesto dedicated to anyone who has ever worried about fitting in.
About the Author
Michaela Coel is the creator of the hit TV showsI May Destroy You and Chewing Gum. She has won awards from BAFTA, the Royal Television Society, the Broadcasting Press Guild, and the NAACP for her acting, screenwriting and directing. In 2020, she was included in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People and British Vogue’s 2020 Most Influential Women lists. Misfits is her first book.
“By turns wryly comic and devastating . . . [Misfits] codifies her efforts to achieve transparency in her work and in her life.”
—Dave Itzkoff, New York Times
“Coel covers everything . . . with her signature wit and wisdom, making it clear that her narrative power transcends the small screen. Coel’s is a voice that jumps off the page, and it’s one we’re lucky to have applied to whichever story she chooses to tell.”
“Written with the same perfect balance of sentiment, insight and wit that made viewers fall in love with her on the screen. . . . It’s an impassioned and rousing defense of staying true to yourself and supporting others to do the same.”
“Astute . . . Coel is a gifted writer. The text is razor-sharp and as funny as I May Destroy You.”
—Rosie Kinchen, Sunday Times
“Warm and funny . . . A perfect truth-teller of our time.”
“Searing . . . a call-to-arms book filled with her own life lessons. Prepare for this to be your self-help bible of 2021.”
“Leaps off the page . . . [Coel] hits hard: funny, but also direct . . . Coel is all about letting go of fear or, at least, of using it to find your way to something better.”
—Miranda Sawyer, The Observer