If you are a woman who drinks alcohol, Drinking Diaries will speak to you. Yes, it sounds like a book about alcoholism. And some writers do delve thoughtfully into this struggle.
But this book is so much more. It’s about loving the taste of wine. It’s about almost getting a DUI. It’s about abstaining from alcohol when your husband drinks. In short, this anthology is about women’s relationships with alcohol. Honest and vulnerable.
Leah Odze Epstein and Caren Osten Gerszberg asked women to discuss the nature of their relationship with drinking. In a great review in The New Yorker about a recent Drinking Diaries book reading, Betsy Morais writes: “As each author took her turn, everyone in the room was quiet and sombre, holding their plastic cups down in their laps. Nobody dared to take a sip.”
As I read the book, I thought about why I was having a glass of wine with dinner. Having alcoholism in my family, and having been in a relationship an alcoholic, this book really resonated with me.
My favorite essays were all written by mothers, such as:
I LOVED how raw Becky Sherrick Harks, aka “Aunt Becky” at Mommy Wants Vodka, wrote about her best friend, Stef, “a love child born into a blended family” who was bipolar. “My own mother is both bipolar and an alcoholic, and hearing that my friend was suffering the same way broke my heart.”
Ann Leary tells us how she slipped back into alcoholism. Joyce Maynard describes getting pulled over by a cop after drinking. Other well-known writers in the anthology: Jacquelyn Mitchard, Daphne Merkin, Kathryn Harrison, Ann Hood, Ann Leary, Pam Houston, Jane Friedman, Elissa Schappell, Asra Nomani, Priscilla Warner, Rita Williams.
If you’ve grown up in an alcoholic home, or ever been in a relationship with an alcoholic, some of the essays might make you teary. At least a few stories will have you nodding your head. Oh yeah, I’ve been there.
Seal Press is giving away two copies of Drinking Diaries. All you need to do is leave a comment.
I’ll choose the winners by Random.org. Contest ends December 1st at midnight PST
P.S. If you’re in the Bay Area… There’s a Drinking Diaries reading on Sunday, December 2nd at 7 pm at Book Passage in Corte Madera, CA
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