John Lanchester

  • The Thirsty Muse: Alcohol and the American Writer by Tom Dardis
    Abacus, 292 pp, £3.99, February 1990, ISBN 0 349 10143 4

Though the incidence of alcoholism among American writers has been extraordinarily high, fictional depictions of the condition by American novelists are surprisingly rare. One of the most vivid comes from John Updike’s Bech is back, the second of his books to deal with the American writer’s life through the alter ego of unprolific Jewish novelist Henry Bech, here attending a party:

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[*] Heavy Drinking: The Myth of Alcoholism as a Disease by Herbert Fingarette (University of California Press, 166 pp., £5, 1989, 0 520 06754).