Happy Special Paperback Edition Book Birthday to Dead Mom Walking by Rachel Matlow, out today from Penguin Canada!


SHORTLISTED for the 2021 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize

SHORTLISTED for the 2021 Vine Award in Non-Fiction

“A comedy for catastrophic times.” –CBC

“A hilarious memoir of effervescent misadventures.” —Toronto Star 

“This book is perfect. Dead Mom Walking is a deeply funny, incredibly smart, and moving page-turner . . . I just can’t get over what a stunning achievement it is.” — Zoe Whittall, author of The Best Kind of People

“One of the most powerful stories I’ve read in a long time—intimate, astonishing, harrowing, and redemptive. Dead Mom Walking is such an important book, with lessons for everybody . . . I can’t get it out of my head.” — Plum Johnson, author of They Left Us Everything

 “The characters are so charming you’ll simultaneously want to read the whole thing in one sitting and slow down so you can spend more time with them. Dead Mom Walking will break your heart and then mend it. Read this book; call your mom.” — Scaachi Koul, author of One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter

“An exquisite paean to the mother-child bond. Rachel’s love for her mother is beautifully expressed from the first page of the book to the last.” — Catherine Gildiner, author of Good Morning, Monster

“This brilliant memoir had me sobbing and in stitches in equal parts . . . Dead Mom Walking cuts right to the heart.” — Tegan Quin of Tegan and Sara 

“How am I laughing at someone’s mother’s cancer? How? We think we can’t laugh about death, about cancer, about our mothers and their suffering . . . and we can’t, but we can. And there’s so much relief in that. I laughed, I cried, I laughed and laughed and laughed.” — Carolyn Taylor, Baroness von Sketch Show

Dead Mom Walking’sjaw-dropping trick is the magically unbiased way it tells the whole story of its subject’s life. Matlow’s kind, determined humour shows it’s possible to endure the irreversible: the loss of the first love of so many lives—our mother. Intricately loving.” — Thea Lim, author of An Ocean of Minutes

A whip-smart and darkly funny memoir about an unconventional family, the limits of wellness fads, and the mother of all catastrophes.

Rachel Matlow’s eccentric mom, Elaine, never quite followed the script handed down to her. Her bold out-there-ness made it okay for Rachel to be their genderqueer self and live life on their own terms. But when Elaine decides to try to heal her cancer naturally, Rachel has to draw the line. 

What ensues is a tug of war between logical and magical thinking, an odyssey through New Age remedies ranging from herbal tinctures and juice cleanses to a countryside ayahuasca trip, and a portrait of a mother and child who’ve never been physically closer or ideologically further apart.

In facing their inimitable mother’s death, Rachel has written a book bursting with life—the epic adventures and epic fails, the broken limbs and belly laughs. As hilarious as it is poignant, Dead Mom Walking is about writing the story of your life only to find out that life has other plans.

RACHEL MATLOW (they/them) was a long-time producer on the arts and culture program Q on CBC Radio, where they also worked on Spark and The Sunday Edition. Their audio documentary “Dead Mom Talking” won a 2016 Third Coast award and a 2017 Gabriel award. They have written for The Globe and Mail, National Post, and The Believer. They play chess every weekend and are forever planning their next long-distance hike.

Rachel Matlow is represented by Samantha Haywood.