Book Review—The Trip to Echo Spring by Olivia Laing

Although I enjoyed learning about the lives of some of America’s greatest authors and their relationship with drinking, I finished Olivia Laing’s “The Trip to Echo Spring” wishing that there had been a little more to it. It may have been naive for me to expect to find a definitive answer as to why drinking and literary genius seem to mesh so well, but I picked up this book hoping to do just that. I guess the lack of an answer really shows how slippery alcoholism can be.

IMG_2568This book is the second instance in my budding (more like flopping around confusedly) writing life that has insinuated that in order to be a great writer one must also be a great alcoholic. A professor of mine used to joke about this quite a bit: grab a drink, write a sentence, grab a lot of drinks, write a book. Call me a stick in the mud, but I never found it all that funny; it rings too true to be funny.

In all, Laing’s book provided a nice peek into the drinking lives of various authors, but don’t expect it to offer any answers.




About Annie McGovern

MA in Science and Medical Writing; Creative Writing BA; consumes books and science for sustenance (and tea); questionable Korean language skills; end
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