Story of a Drunken Girlhood

Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780143036470
  • 384 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult


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.


“Bookstores are flooded with boozy bios by former girls gone wild.” This one rises to the top. -People

“Poised and elegiac… Smashed goes down with a slow, genteel burn.” -The New York Times Book Review

“A mortifyingly credible story.” -The New York Times

“Brilliant and horrifying.” -The Baltimore Sun

Table of Contents


First Taste
First Waste
First Offense
Coma Girl

The Usual
All You Can Drink
Greek Mythology

You’re Pretty When I’m Drunk
Love in the Time of Liquor
Beer Tears

Ascent and Decent
Liquid Heart
The End Has No End
The Still-to-Learn

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