Currently living in Brooklyn, Stewart Lee Allen has also called California, Kathmandu, Sydney, San Cristobel, Calcutta and San Francisco home. When not lounging about a caf. in a far-flung corner of the globe, he has worked as a grape-picker, theatrical director, bathroom attendant, grave-digger, punk musician, smuggler and, of course, a writer. He is the author of the award-winning fiction collection The Art of Rape as well as his acclaimed history of coffee, The Devil's Cup.
* this is lively, interesting stuff, laced with dry wit and canny observations. Scotland on Sunday * Stewart Lee Allen certainly delivers ... he cuts a caffeine-fuelled arc that runs from coffee's Ethiopian origins, through its Arabian distillation, across its European domestication, before terminating in a cross-country search for the worst cup of American coffee ... a funny book that takes some funny routes. The Independent * Two parts travelogue and history to one part caffeine-fuelled theory ... From the genteel cafes of Vienna to wired, late night email conversations on the internet, the book celebrates coffee's ability to sharpen the mind and give society a jolt. Not just mocha do about nothing. The Face * I loved this informal bio of the humble cup of joe... Allen's funky history provides the answer and sets the standard. Sunday Herald