A glass of red wine to accompany your radicchio risotto? Or perhaps a nice whisky or fancy cocktail after dinner? We tend to think alcohol consumption is okay if it’s controlled. But what if it’s not? This is the thesis Eva Biringer puts forward in her 2022 book Unabhängig – vom Trinken und Loslassen (“Unhooked: On Drinking and Letting Go”). Eva Biringer is a personal friend and has written for Cee Cee for many years. I greatly appreciate her clever observations about food, travel, culture and leisure in newspapers like the Standard, Welt am Sonntag and the Tagesspiegel. I am, therefore, proud of her and this book, which is a very personal plea to not drink.
It’s a story of experience peppered with facts and knowledge from many studies. But it’s also a pretty good description of how women deal with the pressure to perform and modern beauty ideals. Eva starts with art: she discusses Edvard Munch and his view of “the woman” and uses it to explore how she views herself. The author, who commutes between Vienna and Berlin, weaves together Joan Didion quotes and fruit tea associations within the space of a page – quite a feat. She talks about childhood trips to Spain, eating disorders, waking up after parties with panda eyes, pilates stress and 50-hour work weeks. There’s entertainment value too: I had to smile when reading her anecdotes about day drinking slogans shared on Instagram. I’ve yet to finish the book, but given how readable “Unabhängig” is, it won’t take long. The title is a reminder of the value of being independent – both in general and in the sense of being free from the influence and coercion of alcohol. Eva’s book is an important one we should all read.
Text: Nina Trippel / Photos: Florian Reimann & Monstera
Unabhängig – vom Trinken und Loslassen (“Unhooked: On Drinking and Letting Go”) by Eva Biringer (2022, Harper Collins, 350 pages, in German)
On 12.05.2022 20h you can join Eva Biringer in conversation with Daniel Schreiber at the Pfefferberg Theater.