The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Laing sets out on a trans-America journey to better understand six literary powerhouses' relationships with alcohol and the effects the elixir had on their craft and personal life. Told in a series of place-based anecdotes and carefully researched, the contents of this book will make you an infinitely more interesting person at cocktail parties. Cheers!

— From Katelyn

January 2014 Indie Next List

“The Trip to Echo Spring is the ideal blend of memoir, literary criticism, and travelogue. Fans of Joan Didion, Susan Sontag, and Geoff Dyer will soon list Olivia Laing as one of their favorite writers. Laing never glamorizes alcoholism; instead, she lifts the romantic veil off the stories we know about some of the most famous drunken scribes and shows just how devastating -- but alluring -- alcohol can be.”
— Michele Filgate, Community Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY


A New York Times Notable Book of 2014
A Time Magazine Notable Book of 2014

Olivia Laing's widely acclaimed account of how writers in the grip of alcoholism created some of the greatest works of American literature

In The Trip to Echo Spring, Olivia Laing takes a journey across America, examining the links between creativity and alcohol in the work and lives of six extraordinary men: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, John Berryman, John Cheever, and Raymond Carver. Captivating and highly original, The Trip to Echo Spring strips away the myth of the alcoholic writer to reveal the terrible price creativity can exert.

About the Author

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.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781250063731
ISBN-10: 1250063736
Publisher: Picador USA
Publication Date: October 28th, 2014
Pages: 353
Language: English