The Trip to Echo Spring

On Writers and Drinking

Olivia Laing

The Trip to Echo Spring (Paperback ISBN 9781847677952) cover artwork

Available as Paperback

One of the best reviewed books of 2013, also shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Biography Award, now available in paperback

Shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Biography Award.

Why were so many authors of the greatest works of literature consumed by alcoholism? In The Trip to Echo Spring, Olivia Laing takes a journey across America, examining the links between creativity and drink in the work and lives of six extraordinary men: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, John Berryman, John Cheever and Raymond Carver. Beautiful, captivating and original, The Trip to Echo Spring strips away the myth of the alcoholic writer to reveal the terrible price creativity can exert.


“Olivia Laing’s writing is beautifully modulated, her tone knowledgeable yet intimate. She can evoke a state of mind as gracefully as she evokes a landscape. The Trip to Echo Spring is a book for all writers or would-be writers. It’s one of the best books I’ve read about the creative uses of adversity: frightening but perversely inspiring”
Hilary Mantel

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The Trip to Echo Spring is original, brave and very moving. Laing’s way of looking at a natural world that is free from human faults repeatedly prompts something like the “spiritual awakening” AA attendees hope for. Her insights shine with beauty yet are shaded by sympathy and compassion”
observer

“Laing’s analysis of the complex addiction is consistently shrewd. But what makes The Trip to Echo Spring truly worthwhile is that she, like those she writes about, is a terrific writer”
the Times

“I loved The Trip to Echo Spring. It’s a beautiful book that has stayed with me in a profound way”
Nick Cave

“Beguiling and incisive”
new York Times


Olivia Laing

Olivia Laing’s first book, To the River, was described as ‘sublime’ by the Times, ‘magical’ by the Telegraph and ‘deeply intelligent’ by the Literary Review. It was a book of the year in the Evening Standard, Independent and Financial Times and was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and the Dolman Travel Book of the Year. The Trip to Echo Spring was shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Biography Award, the 2014 Transmission Prize and the Gordon Burn Prize, was widely reviewed and was also a book of the year in The Times, Observer, Metro, Economist and Times Literary Supplement. Olivia is the former Deputy Books Editor of the Observer and writes for a variety of publications, including the Observer, New Statesman, Guardian and Times Literary Supplement. She is a 2011 MacDowell Fellow and has received awards from the Arts Council and the Authors’ Foundation. She was also awarded the 2014 Eccles Foundation Writer in Residence at the British Library.