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Smashed : Story of a Drunken Girlhood
by Koren Zailckas


Overview - Garnering a vast amount of attention from young people and parents, and from book buyers across the country, Smashed became a media sensation and a New York Times bestseller. Eye-opening and utterly gripping, Koren Zailckas s story is that of thousands of girls like her who are not alcoholics yet but who routinely use booze as a shortcut to courage and a stand-in for good judgment.  Read more...

 
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More About Smashed by Koren Zailckas
 
 
 
Overview
Garnering a vast amount of attention from young people and parents, and from book buyers across the country, Smashed became a media sensation and a New York Times bestseller. Eye-opening and utterly gripping, Koren Zailckas s story is that of thousands of girls like her who are not alcoholics yet but who routinely use booze as a shortcut to courage and a stand-in for good judgment.

With one stiff sip of Southern Comfort at the age of fourteen, Zailckas is initiated into the world of drinking. From then on, she will drink faithfully, fanatically. In high school, her experimentation will lead to a stomach pumping. In college, her excess will give way to a pattern of self-poisoning that will grow more destructive each year. At age twenty-two, Zailckas will wake up in an unfamiliar apartment in New York City, elbow her friend who is passed out next to her, and ask, "Where are we?" Smashed is a sober look at how she got there and, after years of blackouts and smashups, what it took for her to realize she had to stop drinking. Smashed is an astonishing literary debut destined to become a classic.

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Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780143036470
  • ISBN-10: 0143036475
  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Publish Date: January 2006
  • Page Count: 342
  • Reading Level: Ages 18-UP
  • Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.28 x 0.65 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.56 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs
Books > Self-Help > Substance Abuse & Addictions - Alcohol
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Women

 
BookPage Reviews

Smashed

Zailckas' much-admired autobiography is an electrifying account of her experiences as an alcoholic. If the topic matter sounds all too familiar, readers can rest assured that Zailckas' treatment of her addiction makes for a distinctive and compelling memoir. Having foresworn alcohol after a decade of abuse, she is 24 at the time of the book, and she writes unflinchingly about an adolescence blurred by booze and marred by its attendant catastrophes—date rape, depression, suicide attempts. Zailckas suffers from alcohol poisoning while in high school and attends keg parties as an undergraduate at Syracuse University. There, drinking is a part of the daily routine, and alcoholism is sanctioned by the school's system of fraternities and sororities. The difficulties that lie at the heart of the author's dependence—peer pressure, loneliness, issues of self-esteem—become clear over the course of this frank, courageous narrative. Zailckas also writes openly about the long-term effects of her addiction. Minus the support of alcohol, she has difficulty with adult relationships; sobriety makes any sort of intimacy almost impossible. A fierce yet lyrical writer, Zailckas is wise beyond her years. Her perspectives on why alcohol is accepted socially and how it can subtly infiltrate everyday life are smart and hard-won. This is a wonderfully human story about self-reliance and survival. A reading group guide is available online at www.penguin.com.

—JULIE HALE

 
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