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Koren Zailckas

Author of Fury: A Memoir and the International Bestseller Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood

  • About Koren Zailckas

    Koren Zailckas was twenty-three when she wrote the international bestseller Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood, a candid and extremely controversial account of her experiences as an underage drinker. The book sparked a national conversation about teenagers and alcohol, earning her literary praise, igniting talk show debates, and helping to change national policy. Critics described Koren as “gripping,” “original,” and “brutally honest,” and praised Smashed as “one of the best accounts of addiction, let alone the college experience, or even what it means to be a teenage girl in America.”

    As an expert, Koren appeared on programs like 20/20, The View, Good Morning America, The Tyra Banks Show, and Anderson Cooper 360°. As an advocate, she spoke at town hall meetings in Washington, D.C. In 2007, she helped the U.S. Surgeon General unveil his Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking.

  • Speaking Topics

    Memoir Writing

    Koren helps aspiring memoirists tackle problems of memory, teaches them when and how to weave outside research into their narratives, provides recommended reading, helps with structure and chronology, and gives them tips for retaining their readers’ attention and empathy.


    Koren discusses themes explored in her latest memoir, Fury; American attitudes about anger; the double-standard that teaches young women that confrontation isn’t “lady-like;” and how repressed emotions like anger can contribute to self-destructive behaviors like drinking and drug abuse.

    Women’s Issues

    Koren speaks candidly about date rape, the spike in binge drinking among teenage girls and college-aged women, and other topics that pertain to girls coming of age in the twenty-first century.

    College Binge Drinking

    As a former alcohol abuser, Koren connects with students about the realities of college drinking, giving them strategies to help their hard-drinking friends and offering tips for restructuring their social lives and making the most of their college experience.

    Underage Drinking

    In community and PTA settings, Koren provides parents with the insights and preventive tools they need to give their sons and daughters a comprehensive alcohol education.

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and Availability

  • 212 572-2013
  • Koren Zailckas travels from Newburgh, NY

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