Miami Living Magazine

Danica Patrick

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Allison Kugel Unhinged A tale of celebrity journalism and healing Words by Sheldon Wright · Photos courtesy Allison Kugel H undreds of celebrity interviews… and countless more panic attacks. That's the story syndicated entertainment columnist, Allison Kugel, tells in her deeply personal memoir, Journaling Fame: A memoir of a life unhinged and on the record. The book opens in a hospital room, with Allison in the throes of a panic attack that is being treated with copious amounts of the tranquilizer, Ativan. The descriptions of her every thought and bodily sensation puts you inside her skin. You're then refocused to simpler scenes of her 1970s and 1980s Long Island, New York childhood and adolescence. The details of her early life plant seeds for her creativity and love for journalism, and, from Allison's recounting, the makings of her anxiety disorder. It is with insight, humor, and thoughtful reflection that Allison takes readers on an engaging and informative journey, growing into adulthood with her anxiety and panic disorder looming. She simultaneously rises to become a prominent profiler of some of today's most notable public figures from entertainment and popular culture. Allison manages to seamlessly tie her story together with humor, grace, and inspiration, as she shares her mental health journey, and ultimately, her healing. This book also delivers on insider celebrity stories with the likes of the Kardashians, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, former heavyweight boxing champ Mike Tyson, The View co- host Meghan McCain, wellness guru Deepak Chopra, famed attorney Gloria Allred, legendary comic Dave Chappelle, and countless other recognizable names. As someone who has known her for years, I can share that Allison is an eclectic spirit with unlimited potential for growth and evolution, as she allows it. She has a great light, tempered by a darker dichotomy that she is constantly at odds with. Her duality offers readers a spiritual push and pull that makes Journaling Fame a page-turning read; like reading the diary of an old friend or former lover. Journaling Fame's appeal is in the unvarnished humanity with which Allison shares her layered story.

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