6.26.2006

Story Of A Drunken Girlhood

Smashed by Koren Zailckas is the best (non-comic) book that I've read in a long, long time. I can think of no better way to summarize it than the blurb on the front cover, "Gripping... one of the best accounts of addiction, the college experience, or what it means to be an average teenage girl in America. Grade A from Entertainment Weekly."

Aside from the topics addressed above, what I was really struck by more than anything was the quality of Zailckas' writing. She is extremely insightful, funny, and uses sarcasm in a sparing, effective balance of pointed accuracy and slight sorrow. Her prose flows with lyrical ease, yet is grounded firmly in the reality of her experiences. She writes in a way that reveals wisdom far beyond her relatively youthful years.

So good that I ran out and bought copies for my boss and a few other key people with daughters who are getting to the age where experimentation and curiosity begin. A place where alcohol can routinely be a shortcut to confidence, to overcome introverted shyness, and basically replace good judgment and real connections with people.

This book reveals a true story, which is an American undercurrent of pop images and social dynamics that affect our children in ways often hidden from otherwise well-intentioned parents.

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