This is a systematically arranged, annotated collection of outstanding literary works dealing with drink. The book centers on some of the most enduring themes in both literary depictions of drinking and alcohol research: causes of drinking; effects of drinking; drinking and family life; drinking and gender; the tavern; and the spiritual dimension of drinking. Organized into chapters reflecting these themes, the book encourages readers to think about drinking alcohol as a practice that is deeply cultural as well as biochemical. After a comprehensive introduction, the anthology provides informative headnotes to each selection, and ranges broadly across different cultures and periods, thus providing insights into patterns of similarity and difference in literature's treatment of a controversial, pervasive aspect of human experience.
Nicholas O. Warner is associate dean of faculty and professor of literature at Claremont McKenna College in California. He has written articles on various aspects of English, American, and Russian literature. He lives in Pasadena, California.