Part travelogue, part criticism, and part memoir, The Trip to Echo Spring examines the lives of Tennessee Williams, Raymond Carver, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, John Cheever, and John Berryman, all of them brilliant and all of them troubled and alcoholic. Shimmering with insights and details, it leaves the reader enriched, educated, and inspired by the words of these great writers as seen through Laing’s insightful lens.— Michaela Carter
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.