Poe for Your Problems

Uncommon Advice from History's Least Likely Self-Help Guru


By Catherine Baab-Muguira

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$26.00 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around September 7, 2021. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Finalist for the Library of Virginia’s People’s Choice Award 
Winner of the International Poe Festival’s Saturday “Visiter” Award 
As seen in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the Baltimore Sun

When life’s got you down and things aren’t going your way, who better to turn to than Edgar Allan Poe? Discover how to say "nevermore" to your problems in this darkly comedic and refreshing self-help guide.

Of all the writers anywhere, Poe might be the least likely person you'd ever turn to for advice. His life was a complete dumpster fire: he married his cousin; got fired from one job after another; constantly feuded with friends and rivals; and he was always broke. But that’s also precisely the point. Though Poe failed again and again, he also persevered.

Drawing deeply on his works and life, Catherine Baab-Muguira takes the familiar image of Poe in a new and surprising direction in this darkly inspiring self-help book. Despite what you might think, Edgar Allan Poe is the perfect person to teach you to say "Nevermore, problems!" and show you how to use all the terrible situations, tough breaks, bad luck, and even your darkest emotions in novel and creative ways to make a name for yourself and carve out your own unique, notorious place in the world.

An inspirational tale for black sheep everywhere, Poe for Your Problems will teach you how to overcome life’s biggest challenges to succeed at work, love, and art—despite the odds and no matter your flaws.


  • “Books about people’s successes are common. Books where you can learn from someone’s painful demons and failures are rarer—but far more meaningful. Cat's writing on Poe is insightful, funny and important.”
    Ryan Holiday, author of THE OBSTACLE IS THE WAY
  • “Fresh, page-turning, deeply informed and often funny, Catherine Baab-Muguira’s Poe for Your Problems brings us a sorely overdue Poe-meets-modernity perspective that won’t simply make its readers happier but smarter and even saner, too.”
  • “I loved this! A book Poe himself might’ve written: fun, dangerous, a little dark, semi-autobiographical, ambitious but not pompous, and funny and outrageous!”
    Steve Hely, producer of THE OFFICE, 30 ROCK, and VEEP, author of HOW I BECAME A FAMOUS NOVELIST
  • “This is more like an anti-self-help book, a guide to accepting yourself for the substance-abusing, sexually suspect fuckup you already are; a how-to for cultivating grudges, nurturing petty jealousies and vendettas, scheming the destruction of your enemies and indulging delusions of grandeur. I endorse this.”
  • “Beautifully written, funny, clever, and wise . . . Baab-Muguira not only provides us with invaluable takeaways from Poe’s antisocial behavior, but also implores us to embrace our own madness, or as she calls it, our "own weird-ass, occasionally combative truth.'"
    John Reeves, author of A FIRE IN THE WILDERNESS
  • "Imagine The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People—set in a Stephen King novel. This is my favorite self-help book written with a horror backdrop."
    Chris Guillebeau, author of THE ART OF NON-CONFORMITY and THE $100 STARTUP
  • “On the surface, it is something of a self-help satire, mining Poe’s difficult life to make readers feel better about theirs. Scratch that surface, though, and you find a deeper, more profound purpose . . . a book that is witty yet weighty, designed to provide smiles but also a lift.”
    The Richmond Times-Dispatch
  • "It turns out that the author of The Cask of Amontillado is the perfect therapist for folks who’ve been walled up indoors for 18 months."
  • “Hilarious and honestly helpful. If you want to read this book purely as a parody of typical self-help fare, you can totally do that and have a great time. But you might notice as you read that you’re actually ingesting some good advice from an unlikely source.”
    Leah Schnelbach, Tor.com
  • "There is something irresistible about the notion that the Master of the Macabre was the 19th century’s answer to Ann Landers—especially when the chapters have such mock-earnest titles as "Embracing Your Inner Neurotic," "Pathological Mate Selection," and "How to Conduct Yourself in a Feud." Bet you just laughed."
    Mary McCauley, THE BALTIMORE SUN
  • "Catherine Baab-Muguira is a very, very funny writer, and her relating of Poe’s unconventional path to posthumous fame is an entertaining read. But in between the snark and sarcasm in the pages of her book are some razor-sharp observations on human nature and highly astute takes on the illusory concept of ‘success.’ I highly recommend this book for all you soul-weary travelers who find humor in the darkness of this looney world we live in. Nevermore, motherf*ckers.”
    D. Randall Blythe, LAMB OF GOD vocalist and author of DARK DAYS

On Sale
Sep 7, 2021
Page Count
256 pages
Running Press

Catherine Baab-Muguira

About the Author

Catherine Baab-Muguira is a writer and journalist, whose work has been published in Slate, The Cut, Playboy.com, Salon.com, FastCompany.com, HuffPost, Flavorwire, and Refinery29, among others. Catherine has written for CNBC and NBC News and is a frequent podcast and radio guest, with appearances on Lifehacker's Upgrade podcast, the Head, Heart & Hustle podcast, Philadelphia's Wurd Up Radio, and Canada's The Andrew Lawton Show. A native of Richmond, Virginia, she has lived and traveled all over the world.

Learn more about this author