Erin Khar is known for her writing on addiction, recovery, mental health, relationships, infertility, and self-care. She writes the popular weekly advice column, Ask Erin, and her personal essays have appeared in SELF, Marie Claire, Salon, The Times (UK) Sunday Magazine, HuffPost, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, and others. Her debut memoir, Strung Out (Park Row Books), appeared on most anticipated lists from The Rumpus, SELF, Apple Books, Goodreads, Bitch Media, Alma, and others. Of the book, The New York Times writes, "Khar’s buoyant writing doesn’t get mired in her dark subject matter. There is an honesty here that can only come from, to put it in the language of 12-step programs, a 'searching and fearless moral inventory.' This is a story she needed to tell; and the rest of the country needs to listen.”
Drawn from Khar's own experiences, Strung Out, a vivid, no holds-barred account of her personal struggle, is as much about recovery as it is addiction. With enormous heart and wisdom, Khar shows how recovery is a process, one that often involves a cycle of relapses and renewed dedication to getting sober. She explores how the shame and stigma surrounding addiction is so often what keeps addicts from getting help. For Khar, it was in motherhood that she found the inner strength and self-forgiveness to quit heroin for good. An urgent and empathetic personal take on the opioid crisis, Strung Out is a necessary memoir of addiction, recovery, and the lifesaving power of love.
Khar has established herself as a respected voice in the national conversation about opioids and has been interviewed about the crisis by Condé Nast, has spoken on panels including the JAR forum, given corporate talks, and has a TED Talk in the works. She is an ideal speaker to reach young people at high schools and universities as well as healthcare professionals on the opioid epidemic, policy, wellness and mental health.
Khar lives in New York City with her husband and two kids.
Praise for “Strung Out”:
“Khar’s buoyant writing doesn’t get mired in her dark subject matter. There is an honesty here that can only come from, to put it in the language of 12-step programs, a “searching and fearless moral inventory.” This is a story she needed to tell; and the rest of the country needs to listen.”
--The New York Times
“One of the strengths of the book is Khar's frank discussion of her relapses, the profound difficulty of those experiences and their utter mundanity…. [Khar writes,] ‘When we write the truth, when we write about our experiences, we reflect back what it means to be a human being. And that reflection creates connection.’ And connection, we can all hope, can reduce stigma, and shame, and pain.”
“The author writes eloquently about heavy ideas. When Khar describes her own cycles of relapses and getting clean it’s particularly insightful and fascinating… The reader will likely come away with a clear understanding and empathy for the power that drugs like opioids and heroin have over their victims.”
“Erin Khar’s memoir, Strung Out, is a compassionate account of her illness and will surely be the gold standard for women writing about heroin addiction.”
“Strung Out is a searing, fearless, provocative memoir that obliterates all we think we know about addiction. Riveting at every turn.”
-- Lauren Hough, New York Times Bestselling author of Leaving Isn't the Hardest Thing
"In Strung Out, Erin Khar reveals the insidious ways addiction can begin, even at a very young age, even where you'd least expect it. Her gripping story challenges the notion of 'it will never happen to my family' and shows exactly how it can. This vital memoir will change how we look at the opiate crisis and how the media talks about it. A deeply moving and emotional read, Strung Out challenges our preconceived ideas of what addiction looks like."
-- Stephanie Land, New York Times bestselling author of Maid
"I love Erin Khar's work with my whole heart and body. The way she uses her own life's struggles, her gift of language, her impossibly large sense of empathy and compassion, to make you feel less alone, is a rare thing in this world. You don't want to put this book down as if it is a piece of your own heart, and my guess is that it will become just that."
-- Jennifer Pastiloff, author of On Being Human
"I love Erin's unusual use of language. My air was caught in my throat a little bit and I knew I was in the company of a writer who is willing to take risks, who knows what it is like to NEED to take risks to get the story right. That makes what she is doing ART."
-- Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Chronology of Water, The Book of Joan, and The Small Backs of Children
"An addiction memoir that doesn't ask for pity of forgiveness, Erin Khar's Strung Out is raw and real, and shows the hard life lessons behind the beloved advice column, Ravishly's Ask Erin."
-- Lilly Dancyger, editor of essay anthology, Burn It Down
"It's hard to understand how people hit rock bottom and turn to heroin and other addictions, but Erin Khar's lyrical memoir takes us to her darkest of places, where we can almost feel the despair of what it means to be so lost, so broken, that you need to escape. What sets Strung Out apart, though, is knowing that no matter how knocked down she gets, over and over, she will get up again and triumph."
-- Amy Klein, author of The Trying Game
"Peering into one's dark abyss is hard. Sharing that abyss with the public is infinitely more difficult. In Strung Out, Erin Khar boldly excavates and illuminates her own shadows with great (and painful) detail. This is a look at the heavy cloud of addiction, told from both inside and outside of the epicenter. Poignant, revealing, and ultimately inspiring, this is the kind of book that changes lives."
-- Lisa Marie Basile, author of Light Magic for Dark Times
"Erin is a hauntingly beautiful writer with the kind of story you think has nothing to do with you but has everything to do with you. She transcends her specifics and speaks to anyone who has ever fought hard to stay in the game of being a human being. She is a true inspiration."
-- Kimberlee Auerbach Berlin, author of The Devil, The Lovers & Me: My Life in Tarot