Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat

Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat

by Patricia Williams, Jeannine Amber

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Overview

Finalist for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature

Finalist for a 2018 Southern Book Prize for Biography and History

"An absolute must-read" – Shondaland

“[Rabbit] tells how it went down with brutal honesty and outrageous humor” – New York Times

“I know a lot of people think they know what it’s like to grow up in the hood. Like maybe they watched a couple of seasons of The Wire and they got the shit all figured out. But TV doesn’t tell the whole story.” – Ms. Pat

They called her Rabbit.

Patricia Williams (aka Ms. Pat) was born and raised in Atlanta at the height of the crack epidemic. One of five children, Pat watched as her mother struggled to get by on charity, cons, and petty crimes. At age seven, Pat was taught to roll drunks for money. At twelve, she was targeted for sex by a man eight years her senior. By thirteen, she was pregnant. By fifteen, Pat was a mother of two.

Alone at sixteen, Pat was determined to make a better life for her children. But with no job skills and an eighth-grade education, her options were limited. She learned quickly that hustling and humor were the only tools she had to survive. Rabbit is an unflinching memoir of cinematic scope and unexpected humor. With wisdom and humor, Pat gives us a rare glimpse of what it’s really like to be a black mom in America.

Editorial Reviews

Washington Post

Unforgiving and darkly hilarious.

Shondaland

As heartbreaking as it is darkly hilarious, Rabbit will make you wipe away both tears of joy and sorrow...a memoir filled with wit and wisdom...Honest, poignant, and laugh-out-loud funny, Williams’ book is an absolute must-read.

Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star

“An extraordinary memoir…[Rabbit] is both uproariously funny and heartbreakingly sad… Despite all the difficult parts, Ms. Pat’s story reminds us that redemption is always possible, and that love and humor can heal all wounds.

Buffalo News

This is, in short, a humdinger of a memoir – mesmerizing

New York Times

Rabbit tells how it went down with brutal honesty and outrageous humor in unexpected places.

USA Today

Rabbit feels like you are sitting in Williams’ living room, listening to her tell story after story over a cup of coffee. Somehow she’s managed to pull hilarity out of heartache. And when you are done laughing, you rejoice, her final words ringing in your ears.

David Sedaris

I pounced on [Ms. Pat’s] book. And I thought she did such a great job...God, [Rabbit] was entertaining. And I recommended it to so many people.” 

Marc Maron

She was able to elevate her personal stories of horror, sadness, violence, insanity into something that people can understand and relate to and see into a world that many of us don’t know.”

Lee Daniels

People say “I laughed and I cried” and it sounds like a cliché. But Rabbit really took me there. It’s everything—poignant, heartbreaking and hilarious—all at once. I couldn’t put it down.

Loni Love

Like Ms. Pat, I grew up in the hood during the crack epidemic, but I’ve never read anything like Rabbit. I didn’t know a story this sad could make me laugh so hard. That’s the comic genius of Ms. Pat!

Huffington Post

Riveting…this is one autobiography that should not be missed.

TODAY.com

Ms. Pat, gives readers insight into what it’s really like to be young black woman growing up in America.

Bust Magazine

Her story is one that dares everyone reading it to dream bigger.” 

USA Today

Rabbit feels like you are sitting in Williams’ living room, listening to her tell story after story over a cup of coffee. Somehow she’s managed to pull hilarity out of heartache. And when you are done laughing, you rejoice, her final words ringing in your ears.

Washington Post

Unforgiving and darkly hilarious.

Roseanne Barr

Not only is Ms. Pat FUNNY as hell...But it wasn’t until I read Rabbit that I discovered how much she’s really been through. Ms. Pat survived PTA meetings and getting shot. That’s some real-ass shit!

The New York Times

Rabbit tells how it went down with brutal honesty and outrageous humor in unexpected places

Publishers Weekly

07/17/2017
In this provocative memoir, popular comedian and podcast celebrity Williams describes coming of age amid poverty, neglect, and racism in 1980s Atlanta. Nicknamed “Rabbit” by her alcoholic mother, she learned to steal at age seven while living in the house of her grandfather, who sold moonshine to his “good-time regulars.” Although Williams’s mother put her five children in constant jeopardy with her boyfriends, one of them sexually assaulted 12-year-old Rabbit and her sister and gave them five dollars and a few pieces of fried chicken to not tell anyone. By 15, Rabbit was a mother of two, seduced by a slick older married man in the drug trade; at 16, she peddled crack to support her babies, got shot by a gang member, and was later sentenced to a year in jail for selling crack. Important revelations about her life goals came during her time in Fulton County Jail, and she eventually finished her educational requirements to become a medical assistant upon her 1991 release. Williams displays self-deprecating humor in her book’s dramatic moments, and she bares her soul throughout this inspiring, page-turning narrative. (Aug.)

Library Journal

04/01/2017
Discovered and mentored by Roseanne Barr, comedian Williams performs as Ms. Pat. But she went by the street name Rabbit while growing up poor in a tough Atlanta neighborhood. With a 100,000-copy first printing; originally scheduled for June 2016.

Kirkus Reviews

2017-06-05
An African-American female comedian recounts how she escaped poverty and a life of crime to become a respected performer.One of five children born to a single mother, Williams spent the first years of her life growing up in her grandfather's illegal liquor house in Decatur, Georgia. Petty crime was a way of life: when she was 8, her mother, who did "anything for a little extra cash…except get a regular job," taught Williams to pickpocket the drunks who visited the liquor house. Her grandfather's arrest for attempted murder forced her and her family to move out. Surviving on her mother's meager welfare checks, Williams and her siblings routinely scammed churches for free food. Her mother then took up with a man who kept the family fed but sexually abused both Williams and her older sister. At age 12, Williams became the girlfriend of a married 20-year-old man, Derrick. She gave birth to the first of two children she would have with him and dropped out of school a year later. Derrick supported them with odd jobs and later with money he made as a drug dealer. When he went to jail, Williams started selling drugs; soon she had a thriving business. She made enough money to support herself, her children, and relatives who joined her small family to escape homes that resembled "the seven circles of hell." Williams continued dealing even after she met and married a man who "didn't know shit about case workers, eviction notices or eating ketchup sandwiches for dinner." At 23, she earned her GED and sought job training. When she discovered that her criminal record made it impossible to secure respectable employment, a caseworker casually remarked that Williams had a gift for making the tragic seem hilarious. Both savagely honest and often genuinely funny, this is the story of how a resilient woman survived a harrowing early life and found unexpected salvation through humor. Sassy, inspiring, and uplifting.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062407313
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/22/2018
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 66,287
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.70(d)

Customer Reviews