A haunting, unforgettable memoir for a new generation - the debut of a blazing new lyrical voice.
Domenica Ruta grew up in Danvers, Massachusetts, in a ramshackle, rundown, trash-filled house with her mother, a drug dealer and user who raised Domenica on a steady diet of Oxycontin. Growing up, Domenica knew she didn't fit in - she was far smarter and worse dressed than everyone else she knew, and she clearly had the most flamboyant mother of anyone in town - but she found solace in writing and reading. As she grew older, though, and as her mother's behavior grew increasingly outrageous and her home life increasingly untenable, Domenica fled Danvers only to become ensared by the demons of addiction.
A thoroughly textured and masterfully written book, layered with wildly colorful characters, a biting sense of humor, and penetrating, deeply sympathetic insights, With or Without You finally ends with Domenica's increasing awareness that she must leave the life she grew up with in order to survive.
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"Survival required separation, and Ruta's account is a fairly dry, restrained chronicle of a wrenching embrace of health and sobriety." - Publishers Weekly
"A sharp portrayal of recovery from a lifetime of pitfalls and the love that held it all together." - Kirkus
"Freakishly brilliant, brilliantly freakish, this is one of the best memoirs I have ever read. Domenica Ruta has done something every artist with a failed family must do: She has created herself." - Gary Shteyngart
"'Make it new,' Ezra Pound directed, and Domenica Ruta has. Difficult childhoods are plentiful; the talent to transform adversity into art is in short supply. Unflinching in its regard, forgiving in its humor, With or Without You is that rare thing, a story you think you know transformed into one you have to read to the end." - Kathryn Harrison
"In the world of memoir, Mary Karr's and Geoffrey Wolff's exceptional books burn and brighten, like actual stars among strings of tinsel. With or Without You is like that. I will read whatever Domenica Ruta writes." - Amy Bloom
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Domenica Ruta was born and raised in Danvers, Massachusetts. She is a graduate of Oberlin College and holds an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin. She was a finalist for the Keene Prize for Literature and has been awarded residencies at Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the Blue Mountain Center, Jentel, and Hedgebrook.
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From NYT bestselling author Ann Leary
The captivating story of an unconventional New England family.
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