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The Arithmetic of Fame

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To the reader who wrote, in response to my last post, “Actually, Koren Zailckas, the author of Smashed, is 24 years old (almost 25). Do your research!”: Ask any fame-obsessed young writer and he’ll tell you, the mid-20s are crucial years. Publish a novel in your early 20s and you’re a phenom, shining bright; publish a novel in your late 20s, and you’re simply a writer, another black hole on the media landscape. But, unfortunately, publishing — much like coal mines, or cancer — skims years off your life. By the time you’re 23, you’re 25 in book-years — which most likely puts Koren’s age, counting backwards from her book-age to when she first met her agent, between 21 and 23.

Or, to introduce Research to this blog, here’s the PM deal blurb, from January 27, 2003:

22-year-old Koren Zalickas’ memoir SMASHED, detailing seven years of alcohol abuse and an investigative look at the phenomenon of binge drinking among young women, to Molly Stern at Viking, in a pre-empt, by Erin Hosier at the Gernert Company.

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