“Brave, clear-eyed, compelling and powerful, I’m the One Who Got Away is a riveting story of love and survival. Andrea Jarrell is an uncommonly fine writer whose gritty realism is matched by the rigor and elegance of her prose. This is a wonderful debut.” 

—Dani Shapiro, author of Hourglass and Still Writing


Fugitives from a man as alluring as he is violent, Andrea Jarrell and her mother develop a powerful unusual bond. Once grown, Jarrell thinks she’s put that chapter of her life behind her—until a woman she knows is murdered, and she suddenly sees that it’s her mother’s choices she’s been trying to escape all along. Without preaching or prescribing, I’m the One Who Got Away is a life-affirming story of having the courage to become both safe enough and vulnerable enough to love and be loved. 

Andrea Jarrell’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and many other popular and literary publications. She earned her BA in literature at Scripps College and her MFA in creative writing and literature at Bennington College. A Los Angeles native, she currently lives in suburban Washington, D.C. 


. . . reminiscent of Joyce Carol Oates. The work’s lasting message is that love, like Jarrell’s prose, is both painful and beautiful. A stunning series of recollections with a feminist slant.
— Kirkus Reviews STARRED REVIEW
I was enthralled. Andrea Jarrell is a stunning writer, moving deftly through decades in near-cinematic prose (seriously: somebody make this book into a movie!). We’re with her in LA, imagining her largely absent father; in Austin, knowing she took a wrong turn; in Maine and D.C. realizing how our childhoods tangle with our grown-up selves. I’m thinking about how imagination is as much a part of memoir as lived experience. I’m thinking about what it means to live in curiosity, not judgment. I’m thinking that I need to stop what I’m doing and read this book again. Like, immediately.
— Megan Stielstra, The Wrong Way to Save Your Life and Once I Was Cool
Haunted by her father’s absence and riveted by her single mother’s cautionary tales, Andrea Jarrell longed for the ‘stuff of ordinary families’ even as she was drawn to the drama of her parents’ larger-than-life love. In her wise and resonant memoir, Jarrell revisits stories starring wolves in cowboy clothing and lambs led astray by charmingsavior-saboteurs, to lovingly recount how she escaped a narrative she’d learned by heart and wrote her own version of a happy life.
— Elizabeth Mosier, author of The Playgroup and My Life as a Girl
Andrea Jarrell lets us join her as she gets away, lets us feel the thrilling trajectory of escape as she breaks through familial and personal patterns into a freer, more joyful life. This honest, thoughtful memoir is written with great compassion; Jarrell’s love for her family, and for her own journey as a woman, rises off the page, even in the most painful moments. She reminds us to be our own liberators, our own witnesses, to appreciate the majesty of our own everyday world.
— Gayle Brandeis, author of The Art of Misdiagnosis: A Memoir and The Book of Dead Birds
Jarrell writes powerfully about coming of age in the shadow of domestic violence and her growth as a spouse, parent, and daughter. How she successfully navigated her responsibility to her children as well as her desire to know her father may be of interest to readers who wish to explore boundary-setting in their own families.”
— Library Journal
Brave, clear-eyed, compelling and powerful, I’m the One Who Got Away is a riveting story of love and survival. Andrea Jarrell is an uncommonly fine writer whose gritty realism is matched by the rigor and elegance of her prose. This is a wonderful debut.”
— Dani Shapiro, author of Hourglass and Still Writing
Beautifully told with great wisdom and clear-eyed courage, Andrea Jarrell has mapped her personal journey in life—the fears and obstacles and losses as well as the joys and comforts of love and finding her own sense of home. I could not put it down.
— Jill McCorkle, author of Life After Life and Going Away Shoes
Andrea Jarrell’s beautiful memoir—her adventurous yet protective single mother; insinuating father/stranger; friends and encounters, lovers and spouse, templates of what she must move beyond, accept, or embrace to become bravely herself—is as riveting as a mystery and as filling as a feast.
— William O'Sullivan, Washingtonian magazine


"Why I've Quit Writing About My Children," The Washington Post

"Lost," Cleaver Magazine

"I Was a 52-Year-Old (Thanksgiving) Virgin," Role Reboot

"52 Firsts In 52 Weeks: My Year Of Living Dangerously," The Huffington Post

"The Problem With 'Best Friends' Forever," The Huffington Post

"What We Don't Say," My Other Ex: Women's True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friendships, Editors Smock and Strenger 

“Star Quality,” Washingtonian Magazine

“Steering Clear,” Brain, Child Magazine

“Halloween RIP,” The Washington Post 

“On the Miracle Mile,” Cleaver Magazine

“A Measure of Desire,” The New York Times "Modern Love" Column

“Fresno 1982,” Narrative Magazine

“Lice Season,” Literary Mama 



Monday, September 25th at 7 p.m.
Vroman's Bookstore  
Pasadena, CA
In conversation with Lynne Thompson 

Saturday, September 30th at 1 p.m.
Politics & Prose
Washington D.C.
In conversation with The Washingtonian's
William O'Sullivan

Thursday, October 5th at 7 p.m. 
Longfellow Books
Portland, ME
In conversation with Debra Spark 

Thursday, October 12th at 7 p.m.
Open Book Bookstore
Elkins Park, Pennsylvania
In conversation with Elizabeth Mosier

Wednesday, November 15th at 7:00 p.m.
A Great Good Place for Books
Oakland, CA
Joint event with memoirist Gayle Brandeis

Sunday, November 19th at 7:30 p.m.
Powell's City of Books
Portland, OR
Joint event with memoirist Gayle Brandeis



My publicist is the awesome:

Crystal Patriarche

or reach me at:

Andrea Jarrell