cover image Strung Out: One Last Hit and Other Lies That Nearly Killed Me

Strung Out: One Last Hit and Other Lies That Nearly Killed Me

Erin Khar. Park Row, $27.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-7783-0973-4

Freelance writer Khar holds nothing back in this moving debut memoir about addiction. She had been sexually abused and suffered depression beginning at age four; at eight, Khar filches a narcotic painkiller from her mother’s medicine cabinet and feels release from her emotional pain. She begins a drug habit, and at 13, moves on to heroin. Khar unflinchingly recounts being raped by an ex-boyfriend and details a long string of destructive relationships. At one point, she becomes pregnant by an aging rock star and reluctantly has an abortion. There are years of rehab and relapse until at age 28, in 2002, Khar finds out she’s pregnant for a second time and enters a short-lived, emotionally abusive marriage. After the birth of her son, Atticus, in 2003 Khar quits cold turkey. Rebuilding her life, she starts a blog, enters a healthy relationship, and eventually gives birth to a second son. Khar writes that she chose to share her story in an effort to reduce the stigma associated with having a drug addiction, “which prevents people from reaching out.” This heartbreaking yet heartwarming memoir puts a human face on the drug crisis and the factors that lead to addiction. Agent: Jeff Kleinman, Folio Literary. (Feb.)