Molly Brodak

Molly Brodak (March 29, 1980 – March 8, 2020) was an American poet, writer, and baker. She was the author of the poetry collection, A Little Middle of the Night (University of Iowa Press, 2010), and the memoir Bandit (Grove Press, 2016).[1] The Atlanta Journal and Constitution described Bandit as: "a book about stories and character, of how events and actions shape who we are, how a father becomes one person, how a daughter grows up to be another."[2] The New York Times called Bandit "a good book, and with good reason,"[3] while Kirkus called it: "an intelligent, disturbing, and profoundly honest memoir."[4]


In a feature on NPR's All Things Considered, Brodak described the ethical process of Bandit's subject, which detailed her experience as the daughter of a multiple felon bankrobber in Detroit, Michigan: "Every family has darkness and heaviness that people would prefer to not talk about. And when you choose to become the person who's going to bring light to the dark family secrets, you can sometimes be perceived as the betrayer."[5] An excerpt from Bandit appeared in Best American Nonrequired Reading 2016.[6] In 2018, she was a recipient of an NEA fellowship for prose.[7]

Brodak's poems appeared widely, including in Granta, Poetry, Fence, Map Literary, NY Tyrant, Diode, New Orleans Review, Ninth Letter, Colorado Review, Bateau, and Hayden's Ferry Review.

Brodak was also the founder of Kookie House, a baking company that specializes in unique cookies and cakes. In 2018, she appeared as a finalist on the Great American Baking Show.


Brodak died on March 8, 2020.[8] According to the New York Times, her husband, Blake Butler, gave the cause of death as suicide and she had struggled with depression since childhood.[9]


  1. ^ "Bandit". Grove Press.
  2. ^ Williams, Wyatt. "Molly Brodak grew up in the shadow of her bank-robber dad". Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  3. ^ Daum, Meghan (2016-12-07). "All in the Family". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  4. ^ "Bandit by Molly Brodak". Kirkus Reviews.
  5. ^ Brodak, Molly. "Growing Up As A Bank Robber's Daughter In 'Bandit'". Retrieved 2019-09-30.
  6. ^ "'The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2016' Takes a Different Approach, This Year". PopMatters. 2016-11-21. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  7. ^ "Molly Brodak". NEA. 2018-10-25. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  8. ^ "Ms. Molly Brodak's Obituary". Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  9. ^

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