The Prison Story Project presents a reading by memoirist and poet, Molly Brodak, who will read at Nightbird Books from her newly released book, Bandit: A Daughter's Memoir. The book chronicles her childhood and adulthood experiences with her father, who was a career bank robber who has been in and out of prison. Along with this visit, Molly will be visiting with the women in the Prison Stories class at the Northwest Arkansas Correctional Center, who are reading her book. Molly is also the author of the poetry collection, A Little Middle of the Night, and lives in Atlanta.
"In the summer of 1994, when Molly Brodak was thirteen years old, her father robbed eleven banks, until the police finally caught up with him while he was sitting at a bar drinking beer, a bag of stolen money plainly visible in the backseat of his parked car. Dubbed the Mario Brothers Bandit by the FBI, he served seven years in prison and was released, only to rob another bank several years later and end up back behind bars.
In her powerful, provocative debut memoir, Bandit, Molly Brodak recounts her childhood and attempts to make sense of her complicated relationship with her father, a man she only half knew. At some angles he was a normal father: there was a job at the GM factory, a house with a yard, birthday treats for Molly and her sister. But there were darker glimmers, too;another wife he never mentioned to her mother, late-night rages directed at the TV, the red Corvette that suddenly appeared in the driveway, a gift for her sister. Growing up with this larger-than-life, mercurial man, Brodak's strategy was to get small and stay out of the way. In Bandit, she unearths and reckons with her childhood memories and the fracturing impact her father had on their family and in the process attempts to make peace with the parts of herself that she inherited from this bewildering, beguiling man.
Written in precise, spellbinding prose, Bandit is a stunning, gut-punching story of family and memory, of the tragic fallibility of the stories we tell ourselves, and of the contours of a father's responsibility for his children. "
"Raw, poetic and compulsively readable. In Molly Brodak's dazzling memoir, Bandit, her eye is so honest, I found myself nodding like I was agreeing with her, sometimes cringing at what she sustained, and laughing often. I can t wait to buy a copy for everyone I know." Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help