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Blackout: Remembering the things I drank to forget

Sarah Hepola

6 Reviews

Rated 0

Autobiography: literary, Memoirs, Prose: non-fiction, Addiction & therapy, Coping with drug & alcohol abuse

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTELLER. A raw, honest, vivid memoir of one woman's struggle with addiction and recovery, for fans of Bryony Gordon, Cheryl Strayed and Daisy Buchanan.

'SIMPLY EXTRAORDINARY' New York Times
'It's such a savage thing to lose your memory, but the crazy thing is, it doesn't hurt one bit. A blackout doesn't sting, or stab, or leave a scar when it robs you. Close your eyes and open them again. That's what a blackout feels like.'

For Sarah Hepola, alcohol was 'the gasoline of all adventure'. She spent her evenings at cocktail parties and dark bars where she proudly stayed till last call. Drinking felt like freedom, part of her birthright as an enlightened twenty-first-century woman.

But there was a price. She often blacked out, waking up with a blank space where four hours should be. Mornings became detective work on her own life. What did I say last night? How did I meet that guy?
Publicly, she covered her shame with self-deprecating jokes, and her career flourished, but as the blackouts accumulated, she could no longer avoid a sinking truth. The fuel she thought she needed was draining her spirit instead.

A memoir of unblinking honesty and poignant, laugh-out-loud humor, BLACKOUT is the story of a woman stumbling into a new adventure-the sober life she never wanted. Shining a light into her blackouts, she discovers the person she buried, as well as the confidence, intimacy, and creativity she once believed came only from a bottle. Her tale will resonate with anyone who has been forced to reinvent themselves or struggled in the face of necessary change. It's about giving up the thing you cherish most-but getting yourself back in return.

A raw, vivid and ultimately uplifting memoir of addiction and recovery for anyone who is looking to find their way.

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Praise for Blackout: Remembering the things I drank to forget

  • Simply extraordinary. Ms. Hepola's electric prose marks her as a flamingo among this genre's geese... As a form, addiction memoirs are permanently interesting because they're an excuse to crack open a life. Ms. Hepola's book moves to a top shelf in this arena... I'm glad, for herself and for us, that Ms. Hepola found A.A. and other varieties of help. "I had wanted alcohol to make me fearless," she writes. "But by the time I'd reached my mid-30s, I was scared all the time." It's a win-win. She got a better life. We have this book - New York Times

  • To say Blackout is a brutally honest memoir would be a bit of an understatement... It's a poignant and revealing look into the mind of an alcoholic that lets the reader experience all of the raw emotions the author feels during her struggles. It's a tale of friendships and how they evolve over the years... Blackout is one of the best memoirs I've read. Like Kristen Johnston's GUTS: The Endless Follies and Tiny Triumphs of a Giant Disaster, it treats a sensitive subject with unbridled honesty and humour. Yes, Blackout is a touching and, at times, heart-breaking story. It will likely make you cry. But it will also make you laugh out loud... a tour de force... Read this book. You won't be disappointed - Huffington Post

  • This blew me away... Hepola is astonishingly and moving clear-sighted and honest about her drinking. She's also funny, and dry, and ever so clever - Bookseller (January 2016 preview)

  • Here's What People In Media Are Excited About In 2015... Sarah Hepola's Blackout, a dark, funny, honest-to-the-bone account of getting sober. - Buzzfeed

  • a memoir of her alcoholism but also an empathetic dissection of addiction and American drinking culture, and the blurry lines between the two. Hepola conveys both the horror in the mysteries left after a night smudged dark by drinking, and the draw of overdrinking that kept her carving out her memory with alcohol. - Atlantic

  • Blackout is devoid of preachy admonitions. Instead, Hepola has woven together a compendium of hard facts (like that fragmentary blackouts start at a blood alcohol level of 0.2), personal reflections, and cultural implications; the result is a startlingly personal, in-depth exploration of a phenomenon that's still not completely understood, neither by the scientific world nor, certainly, by victims of recurrent alcohol-induced blackouts - Elle US

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Sarah Hepola

Sarah Hepola has written many stories about drinking and eating too much. Her essays on culture have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Elle, The New Republic, Glamour, the Guardian, Slate, the Morning News, and Salon, where she was a longtime editor.
Her past jobs include: Travel columnist, music editor, film critic, sex blogger, and for about 15 seconds in the late '90s, she taught high school English.
She lives in East Dallas, where she enjoys playing her guitar poorly and listening to the Xanadu soundtrack. Blackout is her first book.

sarahhepola.com
twitter.com/sarahhepola

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