Erin Khar: Strung Out W/ Natalka Burian
Where: Books Are Magic
225 Smith St.
718-246-2665 Price: Free
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Today, the opioid crisis makes nightly news, an epidemic claiming more than 130 lives in the United States each day. The question on everyone’s mind is: why? Why do so many people turn to drugs? When Erin Khar’s twelve-year-old son, Atticus, asked her this question, it started her on the journey to write this book, a meditation on her fifteen-year opioid addiction and the road to recovery.
STRUNG OUT is a vivid, no-holds-barred account of Erin Khar’s personal struggle with opioid addiction. Growing up in LA as the only child of divorced parents, 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 painkillers, 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.
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.
Natalka Burian is the co-owner of two bars, Elsa and Ramona, as well as the co-founder of The Freya Project, a non-profit reading series that supports community-based activism and annually awards five unrestricted grants to further the work of women and non-binary writers. She is the author of Welcome to the Slipstream, a young adult book, and the cocktail cookbook, A Woman’s Drink. Her novel, Daughters of the Wild, will be out this September with Park Row.
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