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Drunk Mom: A Memoir Paperback – Deckle Edge, April 23 2013

4.1 out of 5 stars 184 ratings

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Review

“It’s really very intense, a very brave, very complicated story. It’s a difficult book, and I found my jaw on the floor, which doesn’t happen that often to me. I love the way that she approaches prose—I think it’s really beautiful.”
—Lena Dunham

“While the title suggests a simple autobiographical autopsy of motherhood marred by alcoholism, Bydlowska’s memoir delivers far more—a human portrait of the disease . . . the author and her addiction [speak] to each other in a tragic duet.”
The New York Times Book Review

"I am adhered to the misery memoir and can say that Bydlowska did it perfectly. She floated over her personal landscape like a drone and then dropped ordnance on herself. As for the why, she wrote one shattering page towards the end about human pain, hers. She’s a Canadian writer headed for even more greatness."
—Heather Mallick, Toronto Star
 
“It’s a bestseller in her adopted homeland Canada… brilliantly written but painful to read.”
—The Times (UK)

“[M]aternal tippling is a trendy topic on ‘mom’ blogs... But these chirpy, jokey accounts don’t touch the dark spiral of addiction Toronto writer Jowita Bydlowska relives in this riveting account... Bydlowska is an evocative, talented and gutsy writer who appears willing to confess all…  Bydlowska writes of watching other upscale stroller-pushing moms and wondering: do they hide mickeys in their diaper bags too? With this bracing book, others will now be asking that question as well.”
Maclean’s

‘[A] gifted writer, and a courageous one… Without glibness, without self-pity, knowing that she risks being judged, Bydlowska tells her story…. Luckily for those reading her story, she possesses a wickedly dark sense of humour.” 
—The Gazette, Montreal

“It is a memoir that pushes at boundaries – what is private, what should perhaps be kept private, what we need to know, what we don’t, what is insightful or just exhibitionism.  [O]ne of the most talked about books of the season... “ —The Globe and Mail.

“To understand this story in the guise of an addiction memoir is to misunderstand its worth…. Instead, this book is fresh within the context of a parenting memoir, one of a particular kind: A counterculture parenting memoir.  [It] stands as an uncommonly perceptive chronicle of what it means to be an intelligent, urban parent trying to hold on to the rest of her life. As a writer she’s got some chops.”
National Post

“A compelling, raw look at her struggle with alcoholism, the addiction that swallowed [Bydlowska] after the birth of her son.”
Elle

“[She] eschews the touchy-feely language of recovery ... The cool yet raw efficiency of Bydlowska’s prose, a testament to her successful journalistic career, repudiates indulgence of any kind. This detachment is what makes Drunk Mom both a painful yet paradoxically effortless read.”
—Literary Review of Canada

Drunk Mom is a stunning, harrowing read.  Why harrowing?  Not just because of the dramatic story, of a new mother at the edge of her tether.  And not only because of Jowita Bydlowska’s skill as a writer, and the crisp, original way she tells it.  What’s most harrowing about Drunk Mom is that you can’t stop reading it—this, the dark, now-told tale that lurks in the shadow of every seemingly normal family.”
—Ian Brown, author of The Boy in the Moon
 
 “A brave, brilliant and scathing self-portrait.  Full of energy and insight. If Frida Kahlo had been a writer, she might have been compared to Jowita Bydlowska.”
—Patricia Pearson, author of A Brief History of Anxiety – Yours and Mine.
  
“Fearless and troubling, and so very humane, Bydlowska explodes the cutesy momoir genre. You'll read it in one sitting."
—Katrina Onstad, author of Everybody Has Everything.

"This is quite simply not just another addiction memoir. It's something truly special. I felt this book. It carries the reader. It whispers. It really is can't-put-it-down great!"
Stefanie Wilder-Taylor,  author of I'm Kind of a Big Deal: And Other Delusions of Adequacy.

“Jowita is matter-of-fact, funny, fearless, and irreverent as she lifts the veil to chronicle what it means to be a young mother when both baby and mother have their own bottles -- the shame and the inner voices, as well as the joy and relief. This book is for anyone who has ever struggled to make it through a day.”
—Laura Albert, a.k.a. JT LeRoy, author of Sarah, The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, and Harold's End

“Jowita Bydlowska, to steal a phrase from Hemingway, writes hard and clear about what hurts. And man oh man can she write! …In my decades as a lover of books I've written only two fan mails. One of them went to Jowita Bydlowska. Thank you, Jowita, for Drunk Mom – for its rawness, for its clarity, for its bravery.” 
—Angie Abdou, Fernie Fix

Drunk Mom is a discomforting read. Its bare-naked honesty about addiction and families will make a lot of people uncomfortable. . . . It’s by far one of the best memoirs that I’ve ever read, both for its candor and bravery and for her narration.”—The Frisky

About the Author

JOWITA BYDLOWSKA was born in Warsaw, Poland, and moved to Woodstock, Ontario, as a teenager. She eventually learned English well enough to try writing in it. She writes a popular parenting blog, and her work has appeared in an assortment of magazines, newspapers and online publications, including Salon and The Huffington Post.  She lives in Toronto with her son and his father.

Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5
184 customer ratings
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Reviewed in Canada on March 31, 2019
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Reviewed in Canada on May 21, 2013
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Reviewed in Canada on June 2, 2014
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Reviewed in Canada on July 21, 2019
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Reviewed in Canada on May 30, 2013
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Reviewed in Canada on March 9, 2015
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Reviewed in Canada on July 26, 2013
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Top international reviews

Wendy
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully encouraging book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 5, 2016
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Miss Sparkles
5.0 out of 5 stars Brutally honest and beautifully written. Bravo!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 22, 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars IF STRUGGLING WITH ALCOHOL ADDICTION AND YOU ARE A MUM READ THIS BOOK
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 23, 2020
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Kerry
5.0 out of 5 stars Brave. Honest. Raw.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 29, 2020
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MariaB
5.0 out of 5 stars Raw, brutal, beautiful and brave!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 21, 2018
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trudije
5.0 out of 5 stars great
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 3, 2015
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Resonates.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 10, 2016
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hard Read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 14, 2013
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Carrie Miles
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 11, 2015
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fab!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 13, 2016
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emma kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 27, 2015
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🍵Paranoïa🍵
5.0 out of 5 stars Adoro.
Reviewed in Italy on May 15, 2020
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alimamma
5.0 out of 5 stars sad, wonderful, insightful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 12, 2013
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Mark Stokes
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual Raw Honesty!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 20, 2013
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Lorna O'Callaghan
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well written, searingly honest
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 16, 2014
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