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Snow Covered Trees

Poor Your Soul


Hardcover $26.00 | ORDER HERE
Soho Press | 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 | ISBN 9781616956349


Here's the story: in 2008, at age twenty-eight, I accidentally got pregnant, despite taking birth control pills and never missing a dose. (I'm that 1 percent.) It wasn't easy, I wasn't happy about it, but I embraced it. And even though we'd only known each other for just three months, my boyfriend Andrew and I got engaged. Five months later, during the ultrasound that was to predict the sex of our baby, doctors found instead that our child had a constellation of birth defects and no chance of survival outside my womb. I was given three choices: terminate the pregnancy, induce delivery, or do nothing and inevitably miscarry. Poor Your Soul simultaneously traces my mother's immigration from Poland at the age of twenty-eight, the adoption of her son Julian, his tragic death, and her reaction to the grief that followed. Both our stories examine how woman copes with the inevitable but unexpected losses a woman faces in the search for her identity. 

Why do I want you to read this book? Because I strongly believe that it is important that we don't generalize the situations or turn away from stories of the lives of women who choose--or are forced to--have an abortion, and I believe my story will add a much needed and meaningful dimension to our understanding of a woman's sexuality. This is a story less about abortion; Poor Your Soul is a memoir the uterus and the American Dream.

Praise for Poor Your Soul:



"Poor Your Soul takes us on a rich and vivid journey about the meaning of family with all its pain and comfort, loss and solace. Mira Ptacin writes with exceptional honesty and beauty, and I was deeply moved."

Lily King, author of Euphoria

“Poor Your Soul is an important entry into the canon of the modern female experience—unflinching and specific, Ptacin examines love, grief, family and personhood with clear eyes and an open heart.”

Emma Straub, author of Modern Lovers



"Beautiful, beautiful…”  

Roxane Gay

author of  Hunger; Bad Feminist; and Untamed State



"Vivacity of spirit, pungency and accuracy of observation, and a sharp, disabused, but nevertheless empathetic consciousness permeate her pages. Ptacin soothes us, but she also, always, surprises." 

Vijay Seshadri 

Winner of 2014 Pulitzer Prize





“In the tradition of Cheryl Strayed, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Melissa Coleman, Mira Ptacin has written a funny and deeply moving memoir of loss, love, and redemption. Poor Your Soul is a story of an American family as unique and loving as any you’d wish to meet, and you’ll be caught up in a gripping narrative, as Ptacin writes of her wild girlhood, her enterprising parents, the confusions of love and sex, and the brave choices women make, following their own good instincts. Elegaic and wise, Poor Your Soul is, ultimately, about the strength of the human spirit.”    

 Kate Manning

Author of My Notorious Life




"I defy anyone to read this and still believe pols have any right involving themselves in women's reproductive lives."

Martha Plimpton,

Emmy and Tony-nominated actress, founder of A is For




“I read large swaths of Poor Your Soul, breathless, tears held (mostly) at bay, that feeling like someone was standing on my throat. Not because it is unbearably sad (though it’s sad) but because it was telling me something true about being human, something that might have otherwise remained secret. This is a beautiful, contradictory book: big-hearted and hard-hearted, angry and introspective, drowning and triumphant, and suffused with humor both dark and light. It’s a book about learning how to embrace what you didn’t want, how to grieve when it’s lost, and how to forgive life —and yourself— for the lot of it.”  

Diane Cook, author of Man V. Nature



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