cover image Fury: A Memoir

Fury: A Memoir

Koren Zailckas, Viking, $25.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-670-02230-4

Zailckas, who tackled her teenage binge drinking in Smashed, delivers an intriguing and often heartbreaking follow-up on uncovering—and embracing—her anger. The project began as a scholarly examination on the way Americans approach anger, but morphed, in the four years Zailckas spent writing it, into something deeply personal: an examination of why she always denied her own feelings of rage. Everything comes to a head after she returns to her parents' Massachusetts home after following her then-boyfriend, Eamon, to England, where the relationship quickly soured. Zailckas returns home and sinks into a deep depression, which only heightens her writer's block, and sends her on a short-lived homeopathy kick. She begins therapy and starts to chip away at years' worth of emotional denial and pent-up feelings that came from living with a family where "anger was off-limits because it tap[ped] into everybody's fear of inadequacy and imperfection." Zailckas is at her most blisteringly honest when she's trying to wrap her head around her complex and often-strained relationship with her mother. But despite the liberal doses of academic quotes, Zailckas steps out from behind the shield of her intellect and confronts her emotions head-on, even when it hurts. (Sept. 7)