alcoholism

Should I hang myself out to dry again this January?

31 December 2016 9:00 am

And so it begins again. This time last year, I decided to see how long I could last without alcohol.…

A surprising number of great composers were fond of the bottle – but can you hear it?

10 December 2016 9:00 am

‘Brahms and Liszt’ is a lovely bit of rhyming slang, but it doesn’t have the ring of authenticity. Can you…

Julie Harris in the 1963 film The Haunting, based on Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House

Shirley Jackson, high priestess of horror, finally gets the recognition she deserves

3 December 2016 9:00 am

A film critic friend, astonished that I had never heard of Shirley Jackson, told me to go and read her…

Kenneth Clark: from the sublime to the ridiculous to the sublime

22 October 2016 9:00 am

Our collective attention spans may not be as short as is widely cited, but they are pretty short. Take the…

The day I tried to rescue the alcoholic former Master of the Queen’s Music

10 September 2016 9:00 am

I was looking forward to going to Malcolm Williamson’s opera English Eccentrics set to a text by Edith Sitwell at…

The joy of sex turns to misery in Clancy Martin’s latest novel

13 August 2016 9:00 am

Six years ago, the Canadian author Clancy Martin made a splash with his autobiographical novel How to Sell, based on…

The Mare: a story of longed-for children and what children long for

23 July 2016 9:00 am

How’s this for a heartwarming set-up­­? Forty-something recovering alcoholic and aspiring artist Ginger copes with the disappointment of being unable…

No ‘great white wail’ this — Moby is an engaging writer and memoirist

Warning: this memoir may cause you to like Moby

18 June 2016 9:00 am

In 1991, Moby folded the theme from Twin Peaks into a remix of his dance track ‘Go’ and a diminutive,…

Was there a cover-up over Shakespeare’s death?

23 April 2016 9:00 am

How did Shakespeare kick the bucket? Lloyd Evans considers the evidence

Vita Sackville-West, c. 1940

More family history from Knole and Sissinghurst

16 April 2016 9:00 am

In deciding to write a book about her forebears and herself, Juliet Nicolson follows in their footsteps. Given that her…

Ottessa Moshfegh’s Eileen reminds me of Nabokov

26 March 2016 9:00 am

Eileen is an accomplished, disturbing and creepily funny first novel by Ottessa Moshfegh, the latest darling of the Paris Review,…

Hitting rock bottom in LA

19 March 2016 9:00 am

The title of this book tells you a lot. Jack Sutherland, who grew up in London and Los Angeles, worked…

The poetic power of Patrick Hamilton's pubs

12 March 2016 9:00 am

Nice airport was more or less deserted. Two-and-a-half hours early for the easyJet flight to Gatwick, I had a leisurely…

In and out of the drink

23 January 2016 9:00 am

‘If I were to go mad,’ Amy Liptrot writes in her memoir of alcoholism and the Orkneys, ‘It would come…

From Adrian Gill to A.A. Gill — with love and thanks

12 December 2015 9:00 am

Often, Christmas is a time for moaning after the night before, when the seasonal drinking is remembered (if remembered at…

Cybersex is a dangerous world (especially for novelists)

14 February 2015 9:00 am

Few first novels are as successful as S.J. Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep, which married a startling and unusual…

Forgive us our Christmases as we forgive those who Christmas against us

13 December 2014 9:00 am

After lunch on Christmas Day my father always stood at the sink in his apron and yellow Marigolds and did…

Eugene O’Neill with his last wife, the actress Carlotta Monterey, who safeguarded him, and enabled him to write his later plays, though friends and family considered her his jailer

Eugene O’Neill: the dark genius of American theatre

29 November 2014 9:00 am

Sarah Churchwell on how Eugene O’Neill virtually single-handedly revolutionised American theatre in the first half of the 20th century

‘Some find their death by swords and bullets; and some by fluids down the gullet’. Thomas Rowlandson’s illustration of ‘The English Dance of Death’ by William Combe, 1815 — a satire on the evils of drinking gin

Enjoy gin but don’t read books? Or read them only while drinking gin? This is the book for you

6 September 2014 9:00 am

Gin Glorious Gin: How Mother’s Ruin Became the Spirit of London is a jaunty and diverting history of ‘a wonderful…

Deserter, wifebeater, great poet: the shame and glory of Vernon Scannell

14 December 2013 9:00 am

Vernon Scannell was a thief, a liar, a deserter, a bigamist, a fraud, an alcoholic, a woman-beater and a coward.…

To see how good Journey's End is, just look at who it's offended

14 December 2013 9:00 am

‘You have no idea,’ wrote the publisher Ralph Hodder-Williams in 1929 to one of his authors, what terrible offence Journey’s…

In defence of binge drinking

24 August 2013 9:00 am

The occasional alcoholic blowout is much to be preferred to steady, everyday drinking

A Trip to Echo Spring, by Olivia Laing - review

10 August 2013 9:00 am

The boozer’s life is one of low self-esteem and squalid self-denial. It was memorably evoked by Charles Jackson in his…