Hemingway's Suitcase

MacDonald Harris, Author
MacDonald Harris, Author Simon & Schuster $18.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-70082-9
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
In the winter of 1922 a suitcase containing part of a novel and 20 or so stories by Ernest Hemingway was stolen from a train. Sixty-five years later, Nils-Frederic Glas, a dilettante writer whose periodic European journeys have resulted in a Shih Tzu, a Peugeot and a Belgian lover/housemaid, has just returned from another foray in possession of some of the lost Nick Adams stories. Or are they? With the wary help of two others on the fringe of L.A.'s book world--his son Alan, an unsuccessful agent, and Wolf, an antiquarian book dealer--he proposes to publish them. So starts this thoroughly enjoyable literary lark by veteran novelist Harris ( The Little People ), complete with five clever ``Hemingway'' stories. Played against this background are human dramas both compelling (the relationship between father and child) and dispensable (those involving Alan, Wolf and their stereotypical wives). But always in the foreground is the suitcase, a symbol, ``like Pandora's box, or Faust's pact with the Devil. They're about good and evil. . . . This one is about real and false.'' (May)
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