Strung Out: One Last Hit and Other Lies That Nearly Killed Me (Park Row Books)
Growing up in Los Angeles as the only child of divorced parents, Erin Khar, often consumed with loneliness, looked for an escape from the pervasive belief that she wasn't enough—not enough to keep her parents together or her mother from depression—and yet, she never shared with anyone this private sadness. Instead, she hid behind the façade of a perfect childhood filled with good grades, a popular group of friends, and horseback riding. By the time she was thirteen, the act becoming too difficult to keep up, and she started experimenting with her grandmother's expired valium, quickly followed by heroin. The drug allowed her to feel the calm she was missing from her life and suppress all the heavy feelings she couldn't understand. Heroin, while keeping her from other forms of self-harm, became the addiction that destroyed her.
Advance Praise for Strung Out:
"In Strung Out, Erin Khar reveals the insidious ways addiction can begin, even at a very young age, even where you'd least expect it. Her gripping story challenges the notion of 'it will never happen to my family' and shows exactly how it can. This vital memoir will change how we look at the opiate crisis and how the media talks about it. A deeply moving and emotional read, Strung Out challenges our preconceived ideas of what addiction looks like."—Stephanie Land, New York Times bestselling author of Maid
"This is a brutally honest and yet tender look inside opioid addiction. Khar pulls aside the mask of an addict, and neither self-pitying or blaming, delves deep into the personal, social and physical reasons for addiction."— Rene Denfeld, author of The Child Finder and The Butterfly Girl
"I love Erin Khar's work with my whole heart and body. The way she uses her own life's struggles, her gift of language, her impossibly large sense of empathy and compassion, to make you feel less alone, is a rare thing in this world. You don't want to put this book down as if it is a piece of your own heart, and my guess is that it will become just that."—Jennifer Pastiloff, author of On Being Human
"I love Erin's unusual use of language. My air was caught in my throat a little bit and I knew I was in the company of a writer who is willing to take risks, who knows what it is like to NEED to take risks to get the story right. That makes what she is doing ART."—Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Chronology of Water, The Book of Joan, The Small Backs of Children
"An addiction memoir that doesn't ask for pity of forgiveness, Erin Khar's Strung Out is raw and real, and shows the hard life lessons behind the beloved advice column [Ravishly's Ask Erin].—Lilly Dancyger, editor of essay anthology, Burn It Down
"It's hard to understand how people hit rock bottom and turn to heroin and other addictions, but Erin Khar's lyrical memoir takes us to her darkest of places, where we can almost feel the despair of what it means to be so lost, so broken, that you need to escape. What sets Strung Out apart, though, is knowing that no matter how knocked down she gets, over and over, she will get up again and triumph."—Amy Klein, author of The Trying Game
"Peering into one's dark abyss is hard. Sharing that abyss with the public is infinitely more difficult. In Strung Out, Erin Khar boldly excavates and illuminates her own shadows with great (and painful) detail. This is a look at the heavy cloud of addiction, told from both inside and outside of the epicenter. Poignant, revealing, and ultimately inspiring, this is the kind of book that changes lives."—Lisa Marie Basile, author of Light Magic for Dark Times
"Erin is a hauntingly beautiful writer with the kind of story you think has nothing to do with you but has everything to do with you. She transcends her specifics and speaks to anyone who has ever fought hard to stay in the game of being a human being. She is a true inspiration."—Kimberlee Auerbach Berlin, author of The Devil, The Lovers & Me: My Life in Tarot
Erin Khar is known for her writing on addiction, recovery, mental health, relationships, parenting, infertility, and self-care. Her weekly advice column, Ask Erin, is published on Ravishly and brings in over 500K unique readers per month. Her personal essays have appeared in SELF, Marie Claire, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, and others. She's the recipient of the Eric Hoffer Editor's Choice Prize and her prize-winning essay was featured in Best New Writing 2012 anthology. Her essays have also been published in the Stigma Fighters Anthology (vol 3) and BURN IT DOWN, an anthology edited by Lilly Dancyger. She lives in New York City with her husband and two kids.
Jennifer Pastiloff travels the world with her unique workshop On Being Human, a hybrid of yoga-related movement, writing, sharing aloud, letting the snot fly, and the occasional dance party. Jennifer is a frequent contributor to SHAPE Magazine, including SHAPE Escape at Miraval Resort and the Women Run the World initiative, and she has been featured on Good Morning America, New York Magazine, Health Magazine, CBS News, and others for her unique style of teaching, which she has taught to thousands of women in sold-out workshops all over the world. Jen is also the guest speaker at Canyon Ranch, and she leads Writing and The Body workshops with author Lidia Yuknavitch, as well as retreats with Emily Rapp Black. Founder of the online magazine The Manifest-Station, when Jen is not traveling she is based in Los Angeles with her husband and son and a cup of coffee, but her heart is still on the east coast, where she was born.