Smashed by Koren Zailckas
Story of a Drunken Girlhood

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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.


About Koren Zailckas

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KOREN ZAILCKAS was twenty-three when she wrote the international bestseller Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood, a candid and extremely controversial account of her experiences as an underage drinker. The book sparked a national conversation about teenagers and alcohol, earning her literary praise, igniting talk-show debates, and helping to change national policy. Critics described Koren as "gripping," "original," and "brutally honest," and praised Smashed as "one of the best accounts of addiction, let alone the college experience, or even what it means to be a teenage girl in America." As an expert, Koren appeared on programs like 20/20, The View, Good Morning America, The Tyra Banks Show, and Anderson Cooper 360°. As an advocate, she spoke at town-hall meetings in Washington, D.C. In 2007, she helped the U.S. Surgeon General unveil his Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking. Koren Zailckas currently lives in the Catskills with her two children and husband, Eamon Hamilton of the indie rock band Brakes.
Published January 31, 2006 by Penguin Books. 368 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Parenting & Relationships, Business & Economics, History, Romance, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books, Self Help. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Unlike Karr, however, Zailckas repeatedly inserts into her disturbing memoir facts about teenage drinking to demonstrate that her experience with booze is not unique (“the mean age of the first drink for girls is less than thirteen years old,” or “nearly three-fourths of sorority-house residents ...

Nov 01 2004 | Read Full Review of Smashed: Story of a Drunken G...

The Guardian

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Smashed: Growing Up a Drunk Girl by Koren Zailckas (368pp, Ebury, £12.99) Bloodletting: A True Story of Secrets, Self-harm and Survival by Victoria Leatham (256pp, Allison & Busby, £12.99) As Victoria Wood once sighed, I wouldn't be an adolescent again if you bumped my pocket money up to 3/6d.

May 14 2005 | Read Full Review of Smashed: Story of a Drunken G...

Publishers Weekly

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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);

Dec 06 2004 | Read Full Review of Smashed: Story of a Drunken G...

Entertainment Weekly

With all the headlines blaring about date rape and binge drinking, parents ought to pick up this book to get a realistic look into why their daughters might feel best about themselves when their heads snap back from taking shots, liquor dripping down their chins.

Feb 09 2005 | Read Full Review of Smashed: Story of a Drunken G...

Suite 101

Koren Zailckas, author of New York Times nonfiction bestseller Smashed: Story of a drunken girlhood, is 14 years old when she takes her first drink, “a revolting combination of black licorice and antiseptic” found in an 120-year-old bottle of whiskey Innocence to Alcoholism This first drink in ...

Oct 21 2008 | Read Full Review of Smashed: Story of a Drunken G...


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.

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In her first book, Zailckas, 24, chronicles a harrowing nine years of alcohol abuse, from her first drink in eighth grade to the day years later when she awakens from a blackout clueless about where she is but thankful that she isn't naked.

Feb 07 2005 | Read Full Review of Smashed: Story of a Drunken G...


Boys would also benefit from reading this autobiography and wouldn’t have a problem inserting themselves into the many situations Zailckas shows us as easily as any teenaged girl.

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