The Writer's Vice: Alcohol and the American Writer, 1940-70

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Mark Noon / NEMLA Conference 2020
contact email: 

This panel seeks papers addressing the impact of alcohol on American authors from 1940 to 1970. Is it true, as Susan Cheever has argued in Drinking in America: Our Secret History, that being a writer during this period "almost always meant getting drunk" and that "[a]lcoholism laid waste to the most talented American writers of the mid-twentieth century" ? The panel will work to separate the myths from the reality regarding the many writers who struggled with alcohol during the period. It will also assess the impact of alcohol on the quality of writing and its impact on the talent of writers.

Please submit a 300-word abstract and a brief bio by September 30, 2019, through NEMLA's website ( session number is 18158. If you have questions, please contact the panel chair, Mark A. Noon, at .