Don’t Miss This High-Spirited Launch
Posted on February 10th, 2019 by Eloise Wales
‘To alcohol – the cause of, and answer to, all of life’s problems.’
Homer Simpson may seem an unlikely character to provide the epigraph to a short story collection, yet it is his suitably felicitous words that welcome readers to High Spirits: A Round of Drinking Stories, an anthology of drunken tales written on or about the bottle. Edited by Karen Stevens and Jonathan Taylor – who compose an engaging and informative introduction tracing the various links between alcohol and writing, as well as each contributing pieces of their own – this collection of contemporary stories is full of both the pleasure and pain of drinking.
The anthology opens with Jenn Ashworth’s ‘Jackie Kennedy and the Widow’, in which a woman chronicles, drink by drink, the hours after her husband’s funeral, her attempts at channeling the elegance and dignity of Jackie Kennedy following JFK’s assassination growing ever more futile. As the sun rises the next morning, she wakes alone on a park bench, quietly consoled that, just as ‘Jackie wouldn’t cry’ she herself has not shed a tear. There is more…