A N Wilson Telegraph.co.uk

I once thought of writing a book entitled Bin Ends, about the writers who, in one way or another, had lost their sanity through their relationship with alcohol.

The idea came to me quite near the beginning of a party at The Spectator, a magazine of which I was the literary editor. John Braine, the celebrated Yorkshire novelist, had advanced to pay some handsome compliment to a fellow guest and fallen over before he got the words in quite the right order.  Read more here

Meanwhile … Susie Mesure  The Independent

The calendar may say it’s February, but for a group of teetotallers it will be forever January – the month of detox. They are the voices behind a new force in literature, as this year’s crop of confessional biographies takes a sober turn.

Meet the growing clique of “hic lit” authors who have forsaken the demon drink and are saving themselves fortunes in therapists’ fees by writing about their travails. Publishers are falling over themselves in the hunt for the next big title in the “painful lives” genre that has so captivated readers since bursting on to the book scene a couple of years ago, clocking up annual sales of more than £24m.  Alice King, a professional wine writer, will be the latest to join the throng when High Sobriety: Confessions of a Drinker, hits the shelves this week. Her book comes just days after Tania Glyde bid farewell to her inner white wine witch with Cleaning Up: How I Gave Up Drinking and Lived. Tom Sykes’s What Did I Do Last Night?  ( Really no worse than the average New Yorker ) has just been released in paperback, and Nicola Barry’s Mother’s Ruin, which paints an ugly picture of how alcoholism can run in the family, is due out next month. Read more here

On Tasmanian Times: Carousing as poetic inspiriation