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The Trip to Echo Spring
On Writers and Drinking. Canons
Why were so many authors of the greatest works of literature consumed by alcoholism? In The Trip to Echo Spring, Olivia Laing takes a journey across America, examining the links between creativity and drink in the overlapping work and lives of six extraordinary men: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, John Berryman, John Cheever and Raymond Carver.
From Hemingway's Key West to Williams's New Orleans, Laing pieces together a topographical map of alcoholism, and strips away the tangle of mythology to reveal the terrible price creativity can exert.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
One of the best books I've read about the creative uses of adversity: frightening but perversely inspiring -- HILARY MANTEL A work of art, with a voice and a mood all its own. * * Nick Hornby * * Original, brave and very moving . . . Her insights shine with beauty yet are shaded by sympathy and compassion * * Observer * * A terrific writer * * The Times * * Full of insight, compassion and unexpected beauty * * Guardian * * Haunting . . . a moving, troubling, gorgeously written book * * Independent on Sunday, Paperbacks of the Year * * Beguiling, beautifully written . . . brilliant and original -- JOHN CAREY * * The Sunday Times * * Beguiling and incisive * * New York Times * * Laing's prose is lucid and exuberant * * Financial Times * * Laing is a brilliant wordsmith and this is a beautifully accomplished book * * Independent * *