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WRITER

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BORN IN THE BOHEMIAN SEVENTIES, Hannah Sward was abandoned by her mother and lived with her poet father on an island with no stores or cars. Kidnapped and molested by a stranger at age six, she grew up to be a stripper and a prostitute with a taste for crystal meth—which seemed to be a sure-fire way to lose weight—with stops along the way for silent gurus, sugar daddies, and drinking in the CVS bathroom before therapy sessions. Painstakingly honest, often humorous, Strip is a heartfelt memoir revealing a woman’s journey from innocence to a dark existence, and beyond it to a new world of empowerment.

“Elegant prose, stripped of all sensationalism and demands for pity...a fresh, literary addition to the courageous and resonant addiction-memoir genre.”
— Booklist 

"Arresting, weighty, and visceral as hell...a crushing tale of physical, emotional, and spiritual survival."
—Melissa Broder, author of Milk Fed

“Hannah Sward writes about the most intimate taboo things in a signature stark style. Strip is a book you can’t put down. It’s shameless, descriptive, and keeps the reader hungry for the next line. Sward is a force to be reckoned with.”
— Amy Dresner, author of My Fair Junkie: A Memoir of Getting Dirty and Staying Clean 

“Hannah Sward’s memoir of how she blundered into the sex industry is touchingly honest, and written with a light touch.”
— J. M. Coetzee, Nobel Prize in Literature, author of Disgrace 

Strip is the story of Sward’s bohemian and bizarre upbringing, raised by her poet father and absent mother, she captures her pain with wisdom and hilarity—her dark days as a sex worker and her spiral into addiction, and how she finally recovers, blossoming into the woman she was always meant to be—a talented writer. I could not put this book down.”
— Christina McDowell, author of The Cave Dwellers

Hannah Sward’s Strip catalogues a reckless, fast-paced life, one filled with terrible lows and memorable highs. It’s a vivid journey through troubled times, yet also a tale of resurrection and redemption, written in captivating, compelling, and beautiful prose. Sward pulls no punches and she never plays the victim. It’s a stunning book—one I highly recommend.”
— Rob Roberge, author of Liar
 
“Jaw-dropping talent. Hannah Sward is an astonishingly gifted writer whose poetry shines through every sentence. Her ability at depersonalizing herself and making herself into a tragic hero in Strip is dizzying. Bottom line is that she is a fine writer who will be heard from.”
— Ben Stein, lawyer, economist, actor, author of How to Ruin Your Financial Life

“Hannah Sward’s words cut through the niceties of daily life to give us a gritty portrait of what happens to young women when they lose their way. With stark details and incisive language, Strip takes readers inside the world of sex work, but not in a salacious way. Rather, hers is the poignant world of lost daughters looking for belonging, hoping to reconnect with missing parents, searching for home and of the lengths to which young women will go to grab hold of redemption.”
— ​Bernadette Murphy, author of Harley and Me: Embracing Risk on the Road to a More Authentic Life
 
“Every line, every image Hannah Sward captures is original with her savage wit and the descriptive power she uses to place us in each scene of her bold, devastating adventure. This is no ordinary recovery story. It’s a story that defies convention at every step. The writer never feels sorry for herself, she picks up her wit, what’s left of her clothes and moves on to a triumphant end where she finds the full creative command of her heritage.”
— Jill Schary Robinson, author of Bed/Time/Story