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Drinking Diaries: Women Serve Their Stories Straight Up Paperback – August 28, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press (August 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580054110
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580054119
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #432,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Caren Osten Gerszberg is a freelance writer and co-founder of the blog Drinking Diaries. Gerszberg’s articles have appeared in The New York Times, Travel & Leisure, National Geographic Traveler, Parents, and other national magazines and websites. She has also had a regular column, “Mom U,” about her daughter’s college admission experience, at NYTimes.com.

Born and raised in New York, Gerszberg graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, going on to earn a dual master's degree in French and journalism at New York University. Her career in publishing began with a summer job at French Vogue in Paris, which paved the way for a full-time position at Mademoiselle magazine in New York. After four years as a research editor at Rolling Stone, Gerszberg launched her freelance career, and also became the New York correspondent for French Glamour, writing a monthly column in French.

Gerszberg has taught feature writing as an adjunct professor at New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. A passionate traveler, she lives in Westchester County, New York, with her husband, three children, and two dogs.

Leah Odze Epstein, co-founder of the blog Drinking Diaries, is a young adult and adult fiction writer. She has worked as a news assistant at The New York Times, an adjunct professor of writing at Baruch College, and an assistant editor at One World/Ballantine Books.

Epstein has written book and movie reviews for publications including Publisher’s Weekly and Bookpage, and has worked as a freelance editor. She currently blogs about women and drinking for The Huffington Post, and some of her poems can be found on the website Literary Mama.

Born and raised in Bethesda, Maryland, Epstein now lives in Westchester County, New York, with her husband and three children.

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Customer Reviews

The stories were so true-to-life.
Book Lover
The author writes, "I had two cars and a mortgage. She lived in a homeless shelter. I had two cell phones and a landline. She couldn't afford a working telephone".
emrep
All of these stories are heartfelt and effectively written, but I was disappointed in their repetitive quality.
Mary K. Breazeale

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Theresa K. Read on September 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
From Whitman and his early temperance novel to Hemingway and Steinbeck's shilling of Ballantine Beer, a lot has been said and written about male authors and their perverse affair with liquor. With Drinking Diaries, women writers give us their side of the story. This is simply a fascinating read. It is refreshing to review the struggle for moderation written about such utter honesty. It is impossible not to recognize yourself in these pages. Thanks Leah and Caren and contributors for this candid look at how drinking affects creative women.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Yogamissy on October 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book hits the spot! Drinking as a metaphor? Drinking as a relationship impediment or stimulator? Drinking as escape? Drinking as entertainment? Drinking as a habit? Not drinking as a response to family experiences? I loved this book because it made me think, was entertaining, had stories I could relate to and made me tearful at others. As a grown woman with three kids, who has had many and varied experiences as a drinker and abstainer, as well as a lover of literature and writing of all I kinds, I found this book easy to read and poignant. A great hostess gift INSTEAD of a bottle of wine for those who don't partake, and a book to have around the house when daughters (in particular) are reaching that age when drinking becomes a part of their lives. I highly recommend it!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Paula Derrow on September 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
This collection contains smart, heartfelt essays from terrific writers like Daphne Merkin and Joyce Maynard--and some other newbies that you may not know (but will WANT to). Far from a collection of sob stories about alcoholism, these essays open the subject of women and drinking WAY up: the joys, the silliness, the sex, the fights, the pleasures. I related, and, I'll admit, it caused me to look at my own drinking in a slightly more clear eyed way.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By LD in LA on October 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This seemed like a pretty safe collection of stories from known authors. I was hoping for more introspection from the authors. I need more words apparently and here they are: Vote and Happy Halloween.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mary K. Breazeale on October 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All of these stories are heartfelt and effectively written, but I was disappointed in their repetitive quality. Many are structured around the substance abuse recovery narrative that's such a ubiquitous part of contemporary culture. Maybe it's a good thing that we (especially women) no longer pretend there's anything romantic or glamorous about drinking and drugging, or that getting high is a path to enlightenment.

A couple of the pieces argue that alcohol can ease social anxiety and brighten the end of the day. At least one complains about the guilt imposed by censorious teenage offspring who are being scared straight at school. But (other than an odd piece by Jane Friedman) no one puts much passion into the pro-indulgence viewpoint. From my perspective, only the essay by Asra Nomani had something genuinely new to say. She's an American Muslim trying to find a path through what she perceives as the intolerance and hypocrisy of current Muslim attitudes towards alcohol. Really worth reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Love to Read on September 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a book that is inspiring, funny, and at times gut wrenching. I loved every second of reading the stories from these women and would recommend it to anyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sidney Falco on September 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These essays are funny, warm, heart-felt and often heartbreaking. It can be tough to hear about the things alcohol abuse can do to people but all the authors retain a sense of humor -- and humanity -- in telling their stories. A very moving collection that I would highly recommend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Meg Akabas on September 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I very much enjoyed (and shed some tears over) this collection of moving essays on a subject that touches us all in different ways.
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