My Book

My memoirs Mixed Blessings from a Cambridge Union can be purchased as a paperback for 14.99 (ISBN: 978-0-9955268-0-8) online from Amazon as well as an e-book for 6.99 from Amazon Kindle & Kobo. There are over 130 ‘5-star’ reviews on Amazon!

Memoirs of Professor Dame Elizabeth N Anionwu DBE CBE FRCN FQNI

Foreword by Malorie Blackman OBE, Writer & former Children s Laureate

ACambridgeUnionBookCover.17Feb2016Summary of book

It s 1947 and a clever, sheltered Catholic girl of Liverpool Irish working class heritage is studying Classics at Newnham College, Cambridge. She is the first one in her family to go to university and then she discovers that she s pregnant. The father is also a student at Cambridge, studying law. And he is black.

The fallout from their affair is dramatic, but despite pressure to give up her baby for adoption, the young woman has other ideas. Their daughter Elizabeth grows up to be a Professor of Nursing at the University of West London but there are many twists and turns along the way. What does it mean to be mixed race in Britain Who are you when told that your origins are ‘half Nigerian, half Irish’ Who are you, growing up as a child in care for nine years and without knowing your father

This incredible story charts a roller coaster journey from the English Midlands to Nigeria, and from suburban health visiting to political activism and radical nursing. At the same time it brings social history to life think ‘Philomena meets Barack Obama s Dreams From My Father’! This is a heart-warming and inspiring book about childhood, searching for identity, family, friendship, hope and what makes us who we are.

The 100+ ‘5-star’ reviews can be viewed on Amazon here! They include:

Do get hold of this and read it. Utterly inspiring.‘Inspirational read’
‘Would highly recommend these memoirs’
‘Compelling read, you won’t put it down’
‘Riveting story’

Plus an excellent review in the UK Huffington Post on 26th December 2016

Click here to make contact with Professor Anionwu, e.g. to invite to do a reading or give a talk.

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Read the prologue

View chapter list

Advanced Reviews for ‘Mixed Blessings’

Malorie Blackman

“Throughout the memoir, Elizabeth s mother s love and determination are clearly evident. And Elizabeth s first meeting and subsequent relationship with her Nigerian barrister father make for riveting reading.

Mixed Blessings is interwoven with Elizabeth s usual humour and insightfulness and I very much enjoyed reading it.”

Malorie Blackman OBE Writer and Children s Laureate: 2013-2015


Professor Jane Cummings

Mixed blessings from a Cambridge Union is a description of a difficult and turbulent life which resulted in significant achievements and a nurse who is an inspiration to so many.

Elizabeth wants all nurses but particularly those from BME backgrounds to be inspired by her achievements in the profession that she loves. She has certainly achieved that with this book.”

Professor Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer – England
Visiting Professor – Joint Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education Kingston University & St George’s University of London


Conrad Bryan

“What is this spirit within a young unmarried white girl that is so strong it makes her sacrifice so much, in order to hold on to her mixed-race baby Elizabeth’s autobiography is a well-documented and easy to read story of optimism in the face of adversity. It is also an important social history of an Irish family in the UK dealing with race relations during the 1940s and 50s.

This is a very thought-provoking book that is gentle in its prose and riveting in its personal journey and positive message. I highly recommend this very enjoyable memoir.”
Conrad Bryan -
Board Member of AMRI (Association of Mixed Race Irish)