My favorite memoirs are ones in which I find a lot of myself through the words of someone else. Even when my life doesn’t have much in common with the author in question (and my dad never robbed banks so I can mostly say there's not much overlap here). But Molly Brodak has somehow managed to make a situation that doesn‘t seem to be very relatable…relatable. I want to say it’s beautifully written, but it isn’t really. It’s tragic. And I mean that in the best way possible. It’s poignant, it’s meticulous, it’s fascinating, it’s thought provoking. It's honest. I can’t stop thinking about it. I even folded pages down and made notes in the margins and I NEVER DO THAT!— From Carl
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 laughingoften. I can t wait to buy a copy for everyone I know. Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help
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, tooanother 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 familyand 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.
About the Author
Molly Brodak is from Michigan and currently lives in Georgia. Her poems have recently appeared in Field, The Kenyon Review, Ninth Letter, and Colorado Review. Her first book of poetry, A Little Middle of the Night, won the 2009 Iowa Poetry Prize.