On Writers and Drinking

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Olivia Laing examines the link between creativity and alcohol in the work and lives of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, John Berryman, John Cheever, and Raymond Carver, who were all alcoholics. In The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking, she takes a journey from Cheever’s New York to Williams’s New Orleans, from Hemingway’s Key West to Carver’s Port Angeles, to piece together a map of alcoholism, a disease that has also affected her own family.


Olivia Laing

Comments [3]


I will say that the film of THE SWIMMER is quite amazing, it is NOT a "terrible" movie -- it's extremely interesting, and very influential, actually.

Jan. 12 2014 04:26 PM
James from Montclair, NJ

This was an interesting discussion, although I must admit I was doing some work, and so listening out of one ear. But I did hear Andy---a good host, I think---mention the film of John Cheever's "The Swimmer." He said it was 'a bad movie', and then---for good measure---'it was really ridiculous.' He should have held his tongue.
I assume he means the one with Burt Lancaster as Neddy Merrill. Perhaps he considers himself a responsible critic, in the case of many movies that initially receive many poor reviews, while lauded by a few critics---Judith Crist was a notable admirer---"The Swimmer" has become a minor classic that still shows up every few years on the screens of the best independant cinemas in NYC. The film retains the mystery and creeping sadness of the original short-very short-story. Some scenes should have pruned, but that's true of just about any movie. After having read the story, perhaps Andy found the movie to be an unfaithful interpretation?

Jan. 08 2014 09:25 PM
tom LI

Ha, as a struggling novice writer, who won't call himself one any longer, the drinking is always the catalyst to become ones devil, and not actually dance with them and take the lead from them and lead them to the pages.

Jan. 08 2014 01:12 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.