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Trip to Echo Spring

Olivia Laing examines the link between creativity and alcohol through the work and lives of six extraordinary men

Ernest Hemingway sitting with a drink. Olivia Laing discusses her book The Trip To Echo Spring.

Ernest Hemingway sitting with a drink. Olivia Laing discusses her book, 'The Trip To Echo Spring.' — Getty

Whether it is a drug abusing rock star or a “tortured artist” trying to self-medicate with alcohol, there has long been a link between creative genius, art, and addiction. It seems that society not only links creativity and addiction, but it also celebrates the genius in the drunken artist. But it can be hard to tell which we are really celebrating, the drunken façade of the artist, or the artist themselves.

In her new book, Trip to Echo Spring, Olivia Laing takes an insightful look at how alcoholism affected the lives, work, and families of six American literary icons, including Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Tennessee Williams. Laing also reveals many ways these author’s lives intertwined and tells Prime Time Radio host, Mike Cuthbert, how frequently drinking surfaced in their work.

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