alcoholism

Nick Lowe is that rare phenomenon — the veteran rock star who improves with age

26 October 2019 9:00 am

It is to Nick Lowe’s everlasting credit that in May 1977, a few months after David Bowie released the album…

In praise of Tove Ditlevsen — the greatest Danish writer you’ve never heard of

28 September 2019 9:00 am

Pick up a Penguin Classic from a cult Danish author who ‘struggled with alcohol and drug abuse’ and took her…

25 years off the booze has taught me three simple things

11 May 2019 9:00 am

Have you noticed how nearly everyone in the media has won an award? Is there even such a thing as…

Cost of Living at Hampstead Theatre isn’t a bad show – and it contains a star in the making

9 February 2019 9:00 am

Hampstead has become quite a hit-factory since Ed Hall took over. His foreign policy is admirably simple. He scours New…

It’s the wreckage of alcoholism, not the road to recovery, that makes for enthralling reading

16 June 2018 9:00 am

The Recovering by Leslie Jamison, novelist, columnist, bestselling essayist and assistant professor at Colombia University, makes for bracing reading. Clever,…

Tears of a clown: ‘Clowns hate Stephen King. They blame him for the “creepy clown” epidemic, which has led to multiple clown arrests’

Art of darkness

14 September 2017 1:00 pm

Stephen King, 69, has sold more than 350 million books, and tries not to apologise for being working-class, or imaginative,…

Amsterdam Notebook

22 July 2017 9:00 am

When my husband and I arrived in our adored Amsterdam on a sun-drenched schoolday afternoon — less than an hour…

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

23 April 2016 9:00 am

How did the Bard kick the bucket? The 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death reignites interest in a great literary mystery.…

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

George Bernard Shaw called him a ‘Yankee Shakespeare peopling his isle with Calibans’. He was dubbed ‘a fighting Tolstoy’ and…

‘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

Such an ugly word, ‘binge’. Why can’t we talk about ‘spree drinking’ or ‘frolic drinking’ or ‘extravaganza drinking’? But no,…

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…