09/27/2012 11:21 am ET

What Women Write About When They Write About Drinking

Drinking Diaries is an essay collection based on the blog of the same name started by Leah Odze Epstein and Caren Osten Gerszberg in 2009. The book, published in August, includes writing from an array of notable ladies of the writing world: Pam Houston, Elissa Schappell, Daphne Merkin, Joyce Maynard, and the editors of the book and blog, among others. Essays fall into a few general buckets: Girlhood, Relationships, Culture, Family, and Revelations—the common thread, of course, is booze. On the blog, there's an equally wide spectrum of thematic talk: from abstaining from drinking to sex and drinking to addiction, as well as talk of drinking as celebration, and some items tagged, simply, wine. In the intro of the book its editors explain, "As any woman you know to scratch the surface, and she will find a drinking story. Whether we are drinking it or not, alcohol remains a potent part of our lives, like food and the Internet. The world is saturated with it, steeped in it. We confront alcohol everywhere we go—from home to the office party, date night to ladies' night, happy hour to sports sidelines. Even where alcohol is not present on the surface, it often lies beneath, a palpable absence."

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