Parched: A Memoir

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Penguin Publishing Group, Sep 5, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 276 pages
One woman's journey to the bottom of the bottle--and back.

In this tragicomic memoir about alcoholism as spiritual thirst, Heather King--writer, lawyer, and National Public Radio commentator--describes her descent into the depths of addiction. Spanning a decades-long downward spiral, King's harrowing story takes us from a small-town New England childhood to hitchhiking across the country to a cockroach-ridden "artist's" loft in Boston. Waitressing at ever-shabbier restaurants, deriving what sustenance she could from books, she became a morning regular at a wet-brain-drunks' bar--and that was after graduating from law school.

Saved by her family from the abyss, King finally realized that uniquely poetic, sensitive, and profound though she may have been, she was also a big-time mess. Casting her lot with the rest of humanity at last, she learned that suffering leads to redemption, that personal pain leads to compassion for others in pain, and, above all, that a sense of humor really, really helps.

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User Review  - Melkor81205 - LibraryThing

I usually enjoy books or films about human struggle, despair, or inner-conflicts. This book provides plenty of that,in one instance,the author recalls removing dead roaches from her flat left over ... Read full review

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User Review  - cdraley - LibraryThing

Spoiler Alert! I picked this up at the bargain bin at Barnes & Noble and now I sort of understand why it was put there in the first place. While the premise of the story is interesting and uplifting ... Read full review

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About the author (2006)

An attorney turned writer and Catholic convert, Heather King is a commentator for NPR's All Things Considered and a communicant at St. Basil's Church in Koreatown, Los Angeles. She is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Parched, the story of her struggle with alcoholism. Her writing has appeared in, among other places, the Utne Reader, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, and the Best American Spiritual Writing anthologies. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

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