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Drunk Mom

Drunk Mom

“An intense, complex and disturbing story, bravely and beautifully told. I read Drunk Mom with my jaw on the floor, which doesn’t happen to me that often.“
-Lena Dunham, creator and star of Girls

"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 New York Times

"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's book explodes the cutesy momoir genre. You'll read it in one sitting."
-Katrina Onstad, author of Everybody Has Everything

"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

"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 Bydlowska has taken the no-holds-barred approach to her memoir about being an alcoholic new mom. The result is a brutally honest, often painful account of Bydlowska’s relapse into alcohol addiction after having her first child. On the surface Bydlowska seemed like any other urban mother with a new child, a new house and a loving relationship. But this facade hid her inability to resist the call of alcohol, binge drinking, and terrifying blackouts. Avoiding vapid self-justification she shines a light on the endless hunger of wanting just one more taste while facing motherhood, anxiety, depression and rehab.


DRUNK MOM is a spare, harsh and honest book -- refreshingly free of both histrionics and cheap sentimentality --from which you simply cannot look away.

  • Doubleday Canada, April 2013
  • HarperCollins Australia, Spring 2013


"Bydlowska is an evocative, talented and gutsy writer who appears willing to confess all."

‘[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.”

“[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

Jowita Bydlowska

Jowita Bydlowska was born in Warsaw, Poland and moved to the small town of Woodstock, Ontario as a teenager. Once she emerged from a long-held culture shock, she eventually learned English well enough to try writing in it. Her writing has appeared in a couple of publications: an essay in the MIT Press’ Water collection, a story in the She’s Shameless anthology, and various articles in magazines, newspapers and online publications including Salon   and Huffington Post. . She likes to drink but doesn’t do that anymore. She currently lives in Toronto with her son, his father and zero spirits, holy or otherwise.

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