Writing and Drinking and Writing about Drinking


Alcohol and authors. It’s a subject so old and rich and fraught you could write a book on it—which is exactly what Olivia Laing did.

That book is called The Trip to Echo Spring: Why Writers Drink, and Blake Morrison’s review of it in the Guardian is itself a great essay on the subject, covering writers’ love and loathing of liquor in real life and on the page.

A snippet:

“Write drunk; edit sober” is Hemingway’s much-quoted advice. But the rat-arsed aren’t capable of writing. After a point, the crutch becomes a cudgel.

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →