Olivia Laing - The Trip to Echo Spring
Why is it that some of the greatest works of literature have been produced by writers in the grip of alcoholism, an addiction that cost them personal happiness and caused harm to those who loved them?
In The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking ($26.00) Olivia Laing examines the
link between creativity and alcohol through the work and lives of six of
America’s finest writers: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway,
Tennessee Williams, John Berryman, John Cheever, and Raymond Carver. All six of these men were alcoholics, and the subject of drinking surfaces in some of their finest work, from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to A Moveable Feast.
Often, they did their drinking together: Hemingway and Fitzgerald
ricocheting through the cafes of Paris in the 1920s; Carver and Cheever
speeding to the liquor store in Iowa in the icy winter of 1973.
Olivia Laing is the author of To the River, published by Canongate to critical acclaim, and shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize. She was deputy books editor of the Observer, and writes for The Guardian, New Statesman, and The Times Literary Supplement, among other publications. She lives in Cambridge.
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