Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
A raw, vivid and ultimately uplifting memoir of addiction and recovery from the Salon.com personal essays editor, in the spirit of Drinking: A Love Story and Wild. 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 a strong, 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? She apologized for things she couldn't remember doing, as though she were cleaning up after an evil twin. 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 kind of 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.
Razor-sharp... modern, raw, and painfully real-and even hilarious... Hepola moves beyond the analysis of her addiction, making this the story of every woman's fight to be seen for who she really is. Kirkus - Starred review Sarah Hepola's Blackout is the best kind of memoir: fiercely funny, full of hard-won wisdom, marked by a writer with phenomenal gifts of observation and insight. The book engages universal questions -- Where do I belong? What fulfills me? -- that will engage any reader. Emily Rapp, author of THE STILL POINT OF THE TURNING WORLD The story of a rising star's journey of self-destruction and realization, Blackout is gripping, alternately excruciating and funny, scary and hopeful, and beautifully written. I loved it. Anne Lamott, author of SMALL VICTORIES The best books we can't wait to read in 2015... Hepola has written some great essays about her drinking years. Now she's expanded them into a book Chicago Reader 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 The most anticipated pop cultural events of 2015... Hepola's dark, wise and often terrifically funny insights into her own toughest experiences are unfailingly riveting, and there's no doubt in our minds that her debut memoir, coming in June, will be a sensation Salon This is a book about welcoming yourself back from a long absence. It's a memoir, but its author is not its main character; she is a new person sprung from the ashes of another one whose alcoholic self-erasure she describes with painful honesty and charming humor. A book about freedom that will help set others free as well Walter Kirn, author of UP IN THE AIR Sarah Hepola is my favorite kind of memoirist. She is a reporter with a poet's instincts, an anthropologist of her own soul. Blackout is a book about drinking and eventual sobriety, but it's also an exploration of the fleeting nature of the comfort we all constantly seek - comfort with the self, with others, with the whole maddening, confusing, exhilarating world. What's more, Hepola's ability to bring such precise and evocative life to the blank spaces that were her drinking blackouts is downright stunning in places. I admire this book tremendously. Meghan Daum, author of THE UNSPEAKABLE: AND OTHER SUBJECTS OF DISCUSSION
Sarah Hepola is the personal essays editor at Salon.com. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, New Republic, Glamour, Slate, Guardian, and Morning News. She has worked as a music critic, travel writer, film reviewer, sex blogger, beauty columnist, and high school English teacher. She lives in Dallas. sarahhepola.com twitter.com/sarahhepola