The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio* is a memoir by Terry Ryan about her mother, Evelyn, who supported her family by winning jingle-writing and advertising contests. Her husband is an abusive alcoholic who spends most of his salary on liquor, leaving her to cope as best as she can with their ten children. The book is, by turns, charming and funny, and absolutely heart-breaking. Evelyn is clearly a very talented and intelligent woman who, if she had been born a few decades later, could have had the career in New York she always dreamed of. But Evelyn knew this and didn't let it get her down, instead choosing to be upbeat despite the enormous hardships of her life. I didn't really find this book to be as funny as the jacket copy led me to believe it would be, but it was very interesting and a good read.
Buy The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less on Amazon.
The book was made into a movie, also called The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio, starring Julianne Moore in 2005.
* Though the title, to me, makes it sound like a book about boxing,