From the IFOA Blog
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IFOA: Drunk Mom has proven to be controversial. Were you prepared for some of the backlash that followed its publication? What have you learned from being under such intense media—and moral—scrutiny?
Jowita Bydlowska: I was mostly prepared for the backlash. My agent (Chris Bucci) asked me a number of times if I knew what I was potentially getting myself into with this book and the publisher (Doubleday) was very sensitive around this issue as well. I believe in this book. The media and moral scrutiny was sometimes hard to deal with, but if I learned one thing—or rather, if one belief has been strengthened—it is that there are as many supporters as there are critics and, ultimately, this is what makes this business (of being an artist and exposing your art to the world) so interesting.
IFOA: The book was written in apology to your son. How do you feel about him reading your memoir in the future?
Bydlowska: I hope he has a lot of questions and I hope I’ll be able to answer them.
IFOA: Your book feels very rooted in Toronto—both in its streets and its social landscape. Is this city important to your writing?
Bydlowska: I came here in August, 10 years ago, to go to school. In September, I volunteered for IFOA (I was a caterer) and I remember being at the top of Westin Harbour Toronto where the author schmoozing thing was held, and looking at the city all spread out in front of me, and thinking how much I loved being here already and how I would like to live here for good. And write here. The city is important to my writing in that way, in that I know this is home.
IFOA: What do you read for pleasure?
Bydlowska: Literary fiction, thrillers and, occasionally, non-fiction (my Doubleday editor, Tim Rostron, recommends many fantastic works to me). I tend to read all the works of authors that I feel most drawn to (recently, I went through all the Elena Ferrante works). I also read a lot of children’s books.
IFOA: If you could meet any author, living or dead, who would it be?
Bydlowska: Stanislaw Ignacy Witkewicz (“Witkacy”) who is dead and who I think would be a riot (alive; not as a corpse).
Jowita Bydlowska will discuss writing about addiction with author Ann Dowsett Johnston on November 3.