Cover image for Rabbit : the autobiography of Ms. Pat
Rabbit : the autobiography of Ms. Pat
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Dey St., an imprint of William Morrow, [2017]

Physical Description:
viii, 227 pages ; 24 cm
Bear cat -- Hot lead -- Struggling and scheming -- Angel in leather boots -- Devil in disguise -- First dance -- Love lesson -- Age of consent -- Love and options -- Wife on the side -- It's time -- Baby formula -- Hustlers and the weak -- Night crawlers -- Partners in crime -- Mama on the block -- The breakup -- Aim higher -- Locked up -- Hood wisdom -- Mr. Nice Guy -- Four more -- Letting go -- Job readiness -- Eight minus four -- Angels -- Epilogue.
The popular comedian traces her youth in Atlanta's most troubled neighborhood at the height of the crack epidemic, discussing her experiences with petty crime and prostitution that led to her becoming a mother at age thirteen before resolving to secure a better life for her children.
Geographic Term:
Added Author:


Material Type
Shelf Number
Item Notes
Book 792.76 WIL 1 .SOURCE. 12/17 BT
Book 792.76028 WILLIAMS 1

On Order

Prescott Public Library2On Order
Prescott Public Library1Received on 8/24/17
Cottonwood Public Library1Received on 11/21/17



Finalist for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature

Finalist for a 2018 Southern Book Prize for Biography and History

"I pounced on [Ms. Pat's] book. And I thought she did such a great job...God, [Rabbit] was entertaining. And I recommended it to so many people." ―David Sedaris, author of the New York Times bestseller Calypso

"An absolute must-read" - Shondaland

"[Rabbit] tells how it went down with brutal honesty and outrageous humor" - New York Times

"I know a lot of people think they know what it's like to grow up in the hood. Like maybe they watched a couple of seasons of The Wire and they got the shit all figured out. But TV doesn't tell the whole story." - Ms. Pat

They called her Rabbit.

Patricia Williams (aka Ms. Pat) was born and raised in Atlanta at the height of the crack epidemic. One of five children, Pat watched as her mother struggled to get by on charity, cons, and petty crimes. At age seven, Pat was taught to roll drunks for money. At twelve, she was targeted for sex by a man eight years her senior. By thirteen, she was pregnant. By fifteen, Pat was a mother of two.

Alone at sixteen, Pat was determined to make a better life for her children. But with no job skills and an eighth-grade education, her options were limited. She learned quickly that hustling and humor were the only tools she had to survive. Rabbit is an unflinching memoir of cinematic scope and unexpected humor. With wisdom and humor, Pat gives us a rare glimpse of what it's really like to be a black mom in America.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this provocative memoir, popular comedian and podcast celebrity Williams describes coming of age amid poverty, neglect, and racism in 1980s Atlanta. Nicknamed "Rabbit" by her alcoholic mother, she learned to steal at age seven while living in the house of her grandfather, who sold moonshine to his "good-time regulars." Although Williams's mother put her five children in constant jeopardy with her boyfriends, one of them sexually assaulted 12-year-old Rabbit and her sister and gave them five dollars and a few pieces of fried chicken to not tell anyone. By 15, Rabbit was a mother of two, seduced by a slick older married man in the drug trade; at 16, she peddled crack to support her babies, got shot by a gang member, and was later sentenced to a year in jail for selling crack. Important revelations about her life goals came during her time in Fulton County Jail, and she eventually finished her educational requirements to become a medical assistant upon her 1991 release. Williams displays self-deprecating humor in her book's dramatic moments, and she bares her soul throughout this inspiring, page-turning narrative. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

An African-American female comedian recounts how she escaped poverty and a life of crime to become a respected performer.One of five children born to a single mother, Williams spent the first years of her life growing up in her grandfather's illegal liquor house in Decatur, Georgia. Petty crime was a way of life: when she was 8, her mother, who did "anything for a little extra cashexcept get a regular job," taught Williams to pickpocket the drunks who visited the liquor house. Her grandfather's arrest for attempted murder forced her and her family to move out. Surviving on her mother's meager welfare checks, Williams and her siblings routinely scammed churches for free food. Her mother then took up with a man who kept the family fed but sexually abused both Williams and her older sister. At age 12, Williams became the girlfriend of a married 20-year-old man, Derrick. She gave birth to the first of two children she would have with him and dropped out of school a year later. Derrick supported them with odd jobs and later with money he made as a drug dealer. When he went to jail, Williams started selling drugs; soon she had a thriving business. She made enough money to support herself, her children, and relatives who joined her small family to escape homes that resembled "the seven circles of hell." Williams continued dealing even after she met and married a man who "didn't know shit about case workers, eviction notices or eating ketchup sandwiches for dinner." At 23, she earned her GED and sought job training. When she discovered that her criminal record made it impossible to secure respectable employment, a caseworker casually remarked that Williams had a gift for making the tragic seem hilarious. Both savagely honest and often genuinely funny, this is the story of how a resilient woman survived a harrowing early life and found unexpected salvation through humor. Sassy, inspiring, and uplifting. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

As one of her hopelessly alcoholic mother's five children, growing up in inner-city Atlanta in the 1980s, comedian Williams experienced hunger, violence, and sexual abuse from a young age. At 15, she was selling crack to support herself and her two kids. Years later, her decision to find legal employment leads to the rock-bottom realization that, even after putting in the hard work for her GED and a medical-assistantship degree, it was all too likely that she was never going to get hired with a criminal record like hers. As she joked her way through this painful moment, her supportive caseworker suggested comedy was Williams' true calling. It's this woman and other angels who offered protective wings, strong shoulders, or firm boosts whom the author credits with helping her turn her life around. Williams isn't seeking sympathy, nor to be the poster child for growing up in the hood. As she notes, though, Girls who grew up like me are invisible; now, her story, written with journalist Amber, is powerfully visible, and a generous service to readers.--Bostrom, Annie Copyright 2017 Booklist

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
Chapter 1 Bear Catp. 5
Chapter 2 Hot Leadp. 13
Chapter 3 Struggling and Schemingp. 19
Chapter 4 Angel in Leather Bootsp. 31
Chapter 5 Devil in Disguisep. 37
Chapter 6 First Dancep. 43
Chapter 7 Love Lessonp. 51
Chapter 8 Age of Consentp. 57
Chapter 9 Love and Optionsp. 63
Chapter 10 Wife on the Sidep. 69
Chapter 11 It's Timep. 75
Chapter 12 Baby Formulap. 83
Chapter 13 Hustlers and the Weakp. 91
Chapter 14 Night Crawlersp. 99
Chapter 15 Partners in Crimep. 105
Chapter 16 Mama on the Blockp. 111
Chapter 17 The Breakupp. 123
Chapter 18 Aim Higherp. 133
Chapter 19 Locked Upp. 143
Chapter 20 Hood Wisdomp. 153
Chapter 21 Mr. Nice Guyp. 163
Chapter 22 Four Morep. 173
Chapter 23 Letting Gop. 181
Chapter 24 Job Readinessp. 187
Chapter 25 Eight Minus Fourp. 197
Chapter 26 Angelsp. 203
Epiloguep. 215
How this Book Came to bep. 219
Acknowledgmentsp. 223