WRITERS BEHAVING BADLY
Hemingway & Bailey’s Bartending Guide to Great American Writers
Illustrated by Edward Hemingway
Written by Mark Bailey
(Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Workman Publishing, $15.95)
by Becky Sauer
Certain 20th century authors–F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy Parker and Raymond Carver, to name a few–were just as famous for their hard living as they were for their fine writing. Taking inspiration from that theme, Mark Bailey has compiled this unique bartending guide designed for the literary lush. Forty-three American writers are arranged alphabetically and matched up with a signature cocktail recipe, mini biography and an excerpt from their work devoted to the subject at hand—drinking. Illustrator Edward Hemingway supplied the whimsical caricatures of the literary masters, including one of his grandfather, Ernest Hemingway.
Also featured are amusing anecdotes of particularly memorable benders, such as the time Jack Kerouac passed out at a portside bar and in the morning found himself on a ship headed for Greenland. Legend has it that he called his parents to say he would be home “a little late.” As far as the cocktail recipes go, the selections range from the classic (Manhattan, Bloody Mary) to the old-fashioned (Brandy Alexander, Gin Rickey) to the obscure (Ward Eight, Between the Sheets). And though you may not learn any nuances to fixing a Screwdriver, you may find it interesting to know that Truman Capote referred to it as “my orange drink.” This handy little book is less a tome for the serious mixologist and more of a novelty gift for those who enjoy a stiff drink and a great read.