SMASHED: Story of a Drunken Girlhood

Koren Zailckas, Author . Viking $21.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-670-03376-8

This isn't just one girl's story of sneaking drinks in junior high, creeping out for night-long keg parties in high school and binge-drinking weeknights and weekends through college—it's also a valuable cautionary tale. At 24 (her present age), Zailckas gave up drinking after a decade of getting drunk, having blackouts and experiencing brushes with comas, date rape and suicide. She weaves disturbing statistics (from Harvard School of Public Heath studies and elsewhere) into her memoir: most girls will have their first drink by age 12, and will have the experience of being drunk by 14; teenage girls drink as much as their male peers, but their bodies process it badly (they get drunk faster, stay drunk longer and are more likely to die of alcohol poisoning); and date rape and booze go hand-in-hand. Zailckas had alcohol poisoning at 16 after a night of downing shots at a party with friends, but having her stomach pumped in the emergency room and enduring a month of being grounded didn't check her desire to drink. Fraternity keg parties led to drunken sexual encounters not-quite-remembered; drinking began to replace intimacy. Alcohol defined Zailckas's adolescence and college years to such an extent that, as she tells it, she lacks the tools to be an adult: she's unsure how to maintain relationships and unclear about sex without an alcohol buzz. Zailckas is unsparingly insightful and acutely aware of what drinking can and does do to girls. She explains that while kids are taught that drugs are always dangerous, alcohol is perceived as an acceptable rite of passage. Her book is deeply moving, written in poetic, nuanced prose that never obscures the dangerous truths she seeks to reveal. Agent, Erin Hosier. (Feb. 7)

Forecast: Zailckas should reach a varied readership: she's a student of Mary Karr's ( The Liar's Club), which will garner a literary audience, and has also received praise from those who work in the substance abuse field.

Reviewed on: 12/06/2004
Release date: 02/01/2005
Show other formats
FORMATS
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-101-19139-2
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 368 pages - 978-0-7865-6848-2
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-7865-6847-5
Paperback - 978-0-09-190560-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-4001-0154-2
MP3 CD - 978-1-4001-5154-7
Paperback - 342 pages
Prebound-Glued - 342 pages - 978-1-4177-6753-3
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-4464-9089-1
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-60640-141-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-4001-3154-9
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.