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Agata Izabela Brewer

Writer, scholar, teacher, activist

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Winner of the Gournay Prize (2022) and Black Warrior Review's Creative Nonfiction Prize (2019)

Agata’s Latest Publications

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The Hunger Book: A Memoir from Communist Poland

Fall 2023

Ohio State University Press

A memoir about food and motherhood in Communist Poland, The Hunger Book weaves together stories of alcohol addiction and violence against the background of Stalinist-era apartment buildings and lush gardens.

Winner of the 2022 Gournay Prize

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“A searing memoir about growing up behind the Iron Curtain, motherhood, addiction, and finding sustenance in the natural world.…A memorable meditation on hunger for food and love, childhood in a totalitarian regime, and resilience.” —Kirkus

"If the ornithology textbook included chapters on resurrection and sadness (as felt through mother death tones) and was part cookbook (the absence we eat and eat), then Birds would be its remarkable introduction. Birds is an acute and moving piece written in the idiom of hunger and the loneliness, survival, suffering and love that light up its limits."

Selah Saterstrom, on one of the chapters of Hunger Book

Reviews

"Empire and Pilgrimage in Conrad and Joyce with its wealth of invigorating readings, will be essential reading. . . . Agata Szczeszak-Brewer is a fresh new voice in modernism."

Modern Fiction Studies

"As it narrates a childhood in communist Poland and an adulthood in Trumpist Indiana, The Hunger Book, a memoir and a cookbook, is a deeply moving meditation on mothering and nurturing, asking how to feed the void a mother's absence creates." 

Ania Spyra

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