The Trip to Echo Spring: Why Writers Drink review – Olivia Laing's elegant study of alcohol's place in literature
Laing answers these questions early in the book. "There are some things that one can't address at home," she writes (ominously); and writers "by their very nature, describe the affliction best". Don't they just. From Hemingway's enticing "nice good lovely gin" to the "brilliant" morning martini Berryman took as a cure for a hangover, the downward slope is apparent; and with two suicides and two deaths due to drink/drugs among these famous names, it's clear this affliction is not a trivial one.