When Leslie Jamison was a student at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she fell in love with the myth of the alcoholic writer: the myth that liquor fed, not poisoned, great writing. By getting drunk in the same Iowa City bars as 20th-century alcoholic literary giants — John Cheever, Raymond Carver, John Berryman and, more recently, Denis Johnson — she felt as if she were raising a glass to them, as it were, and joining their illustrious company. “I idolized the iconic drunk writers because I understood their drinking as proof of extreme interior weather: volatile and authentic,” she writes, and she desperately aspired to find her place among “the Old Drunk Legends.”


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This