Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publication Title

The Languages of Addiction


123-132 pp.


ALCOHOLISM IS A MAJOR PROBLEM IN MOST COUNTRIES; yet in only a few countries has it become a social issue and a topic to be discussed seriously and openly. Within universities, substantive knowledge about alcoholism appears co be confined mainly to medical and sociology departments. Certainly, alcoholism is a neglected topic in literary studies. Almost all critics and teachers of literature are blind to its impact on a surprising number of characters and their relationships- even when alcoholism is the primary cause of suffering. Unless a teacher is a recovering alcoholic or knows well someone who is, ignorance or self-censorship evidently prevents much discussion of alcoholism in the classroom. Because of the shame and secrecy so long associated with alcoholism, revealing any interest in it seems almost taboo (Gilmore 6). Silence about alcoholism allows the kind of abuse and violence that frequently accompanies alcohol addictions to continue.

Original Publication Citation

Bazin, N. T. (1999). Alcoholism in third-world literature: Buchi Emecheta, Athol Fugard, and Anita Desai. In J. Lilienfeld & J. Oxford (Eds.), The languages of addiction (pp. 123-132). St. Martin's.