High Spirits: A Round of Drinking Stories

Edited by

Drinking stories are told by drunks, or about drunks; they are told in pubs, or set in pubs. They are stories where people drink, and stories which somehow induce a sense of drunkenness in readers and listeners. Anton Chekhov may or may not have drunkenly compared the experience of reading a short story to downing a shot of vodka, and F. Scott Fitzgerald claimed that a good short story could “be written on a bottle.” Here is a collection of contemporary short stories written on and about bottles – stories about the comedies, tragedies, pleasures, pains and horrors of alcohol – all of which can be downed like (and perhaps with) a glass of vodka.

Edited with an introduction by Karen Stevens and Jonathan Taylor, contributors include some of the best short story writers in the UK today: Judith Allnatt, Jenn Ashworth, Desmond Barry, Laurie Cusack, Louis de Bernières, Jane Feaver, Cathy Galvin, Alison Moore, Kate North, Bethan Roberts, Jane Roberts, Hannah Stevens, Michael Stewart, David Swann, Melanie Whipman and Sue Wilsea.


‘An intoxicating cocktail of stories. Drink deep, but be warned: there is darkness in the cup.’ - Will Buckingham

‘A marvellous collection that springs from life as it’s lived – on the pulse, in the street, and in our dreams. Its stories are, by turns, poignant, tough, funny, lyrical. Above all, they capture the emboldening and destructive force of alcohol as its characters search, stumble, love, stagger and rise above.’ - Alison MacLeod



Publication Date

November 2018


High Spirits: A Round of Drinking Stories on the Valley Press website