My Son Marshall, My Son Eminem

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My Son Marshall, My Son Eminem
My Son Marshall, My Son Eminem.jpg
AuthorDebbie Nelson
CountryUnited States
PublisherPhoenix Books
Publication date
Media typePrint (hardcover)

My Son Marshall, My Son Eminem is a 2008 autobiography by Debbie Nelson, the mother of American rapper Marshall Mathers a.k.a. Eminem. The British author Annette Witheridge helped her with the book.[1] It was reported in September 2008 that the book sold over 100,000 copies in the United Kingdom.[2]


It includes all of Nelson's life, and includes her troubles with Eminem growing up and dealing with fame. According to her, Eminem's side of the story is full of lies he concocted in order to become a successful rapper.[3] Nevertheless, she says that she is not angry at her son.[1] She also says in her book that she sued her son in 2000 for defamation to stop the foreclosure on her house.[4]

Nelson's aim in writing the book was to show her side of the story about her relationship with Eminem. She stated that she "regrets keeping quiet as Em cultivated his public persona of a trailer dweller with a crazy welfare mom."[5]

The book has photographs of Nelson with Eminem, and poems and lyrics written by Eminem that were rarely or never seen before.[6]


Nelson was sued a week before the book was released in the United States. According to the man who sued Nelson, Neal Alpert, he helped her with the book, and pursuant to a 2005 contract with Nelson, he should have received 25 percent of the profit.[7]


Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Club said that her book "is almost perversely devoid of the irony, humor and self-deprecation that pervades her son's music."[8] A Publishers Weekly review says that "[t]hough readers may find it hard to reconcile Debbie's claim never to have exploited her son in the pages of a tell-all about him, Nelson's portrait of her son is tense but sympathetic."[4]

Mike Sweeney of New Statesman listed the book among five of the most controversial memoirs.[9]


  1. ^ a b "Eminem's mom exposes son". December 18, 2007. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
  2. ^ "Eminem's mother's tell-all book to get US release". NME. September 17, 2008. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
  3. ^ "Eminem's mom claims he is a sham". Sify. December 19, 2007. Archived from the original on June 23, 2012. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
  4. ^ a b "My Son Marshall, My Son Eminem: Setting the Record Straight on My Life as Eminem's Mother". Publishers Weekly. November 3, 2008. Retrieved December 10, 2011.
  5. ^ Kaufman, Gil (September 18, 2008). "Eminem's Mom Tells Her Side Of The Story In New Memoir". MTV News. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
  6. ^ "Eminem's Mom Spills The Beans". IGN. September 16, 2008. Archived from the original on May 14, 2012. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
  7. ^ "Eminem's Mother Sued Over Profits From Her Book 'My Son Marshall, My Son Eminem'". Fox News. Associated Press. April 8, 2008. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
  8. ^ Rabin, Nathan (December 8, 2008). "Silly Little Show-Biz Book Club #18 My Son Marshall, My Son Eminem". The A.V. Club. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
  9. ^ Sweeney, Mike (July 13, 2010). "The five most controversial memoirs". New Statesman. Retrieved December 9, 2011.