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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

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A Life in Smoke: A Memoir

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A Life in Smoke: A Memoir Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"I accepted the certainty of my untimely death with gallows humor and a calculator. I'd read somewhere that each cigarette you smoke knocks seven minutes off your time on the planet. To amuse myself, I did the math: 153,000 cigarettes = two years of my life, up in smoke."

Julia Hansen first lit up at nineteen. Twenty years later, she was editing books about health — and smoking a pack or two a day. She denied her son fast food, but smoked in the house and car; curtailed his video games, but lit up at his soccer matches. Despite repeated attempts to quit, she always crawled back to her beloved menthol lights. Smoking had become a metaphorical chain around her neck, shackling her to an early death.

Haunted by a nightmarish vision of her future — her son at her deathbed, begging her not to leave him — Hansen devised a drastic quit method. She bought a 72-foot length of chain that was "unwieldy as a corpse" and locked herself to a radiator in her dining room. What followed: seven days of cold-turkey misery, comic absurdity, and revelation as Hansen stepped from behind her wall of smoke to face her addiction to nicotine — and some painful truths.

Clanking around her house like Marley's ghost, white-knuckling cravings, and struggling to understand tobacco's unyielding grip on her, Hansen confronted her life in smoke: fractured relationships, lifelong battles with alcohol and depression, and a profound sense of emptiness. On day 1, the chain was her addiction to nicotine, each link a story about cigarettes and self-loathing. By day 7, it had revealed its ringing, rattling truth — that every smoker has a story, and it always centers on clinging to a comfort that can kill you. In the end, Hansen's story was painfully simple: She smoked to survive her life. And then, to save it, she quit.

Fierce and funny, honest and utterly absorbing, A Life in Smoke is Julia Hansen's evocative and inspiring account of the extreme measures she took to quit smoking — decidedly not recommended by the medical profession.

Synopsis:

"I accepted the certainty of my untimely death with gallows humor and a calculator. I'd read somewhere that each cigarette you smoke knocks seven minutes off your time on the planet. To amuse myself, I did the math: 153,000 cigarettes = two years of my life, up in smoke."

Julia Hansen first lit up at nineteen. Twenty years later, she was editing books about health — and smoking a pack or two a day. She denied her son fast food, but smoked in the house and car; curtailed his video games, but lit up at his soccer matches. Despite repeated attempts to quit, she always crawled back to her beloved menthol lights. Smoking had become a metaphorical chain around her neck, shackling her to an early death.

Haunted by a nightmarish vision of her future — her son at her deathbed, begging her not to leave him — Hansen devised a drastic quit method. She bought a 72-foot length of chain that was "unwieldy as a corpse" and locked herself to a radiator in her dining room. What followed: seven days of cold-turkey misery, comic absurdity, and revelation as Hansen stepped from behind her wall of smoke to face her addiction to nicotine — and some painful truths.

Clanking around her house like Marley's ghost, white-knuckling cravings, and struggling to understand tobacco's unyielding grip on her, Hansen confronted her life in smoke: fractured relationships, lifelong battles with alcohol and depression, and a profound sense of emptiness. On day 1, the chain was her addiction to nicotine, each link a story about cigarettes and self-loathing. By day 7, it had revealed its ringing, rattling truth — that every smoker has a story, and it always centers on clinging to a comfort that can kill you. In the end, Hansen's story was painfully simple: She smoked to survive her life. And then, to save it, she quit.

Fierce and funny, honest and utterly absorbing, A Life in Smoke is Julia Hansen's evocative and inspiring account of the extreme measures she took to quit smoking — decidedly not recommended by the medical profession.

About the Author

Julia Hansen was born in 1963 in Vineland, New Jersey. She lives in Reading, Pennsylvania, with her husband and son.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743289597
Author:
Hansen, Julia
Publisher:
Free Press
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Biography - General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20080531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Women
Health and Self-Help » Recovery and Addiction » Drug and Alcohol Addiction

A Life in Smoke: A Memoir New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$20.95 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Free Press - English 9780743289597 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
"I accepted the certainty of my untimely death with gallows humor and a calculator. I'd read somewhere that each cigarette you smoke knocks seven minutes off your time on the planet. To amuse myself, I did the math: 153,000 cigarettes = two years of my life, up in smoke."

Julia Hansen first lit up at nineteen. Twenty years later, she was editing books about health — and smoking a pack or two a day. She denied her son fast food, but smoked in the house and car; curtailed his video games, but lit up at his soccer matches. Despite repeated attempts to quit, she always crawled back to her beloved menthol lights. Smoking had become a metaphorical chain around her neck, shackling her to an early death.

Haunted by a nightmarish vision of her future — her son at her deathbed, begging her not to leave him — Hansen devised a drastic quit method. She bought a 72-foot length of chain that was "unwieldy as a corpse" and locked herself to a radiator in her dining room. What followed: seven days of cold-turkey misery, comic absurdity, and revelation as Hansen stepped from behind her wall of smoke to face her addiction to nicotine — and some painful truths.

Clanking around her house like Marley's ghost, white-knuckling cravings, and struggling to understand tobacco's unyielding grip on her, Hansen confronted her life in smoke: fractured relationships, lifelong battles with alcohol and depression, and a profound sense of emptiness. On day 1, the chain was her addiction to nicotine, each link a story about cigarettes and self-loathing. By day 7, it had revealed its ringing, rattling truth — that every smoker has a story, and it always centers on clinging to a comfort that can kill you. In the end, Hansen's story was painfully simple: She smoked to survive her life. And then, to save it, she quit.

Fierce and funny, honest and utterly absorbing, A Life in Smoke is Julia Hansen's evocative and inspiring account of the extreme measures she took to quit smoking — decidedly not recommended by the medical profession.

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