Ernest Hemingway: A Biography

Mary V. Dearborn. Knopf, $25 (752p) ISBN 978-0-307-59467-9
Dearborn (Mistress of Modernism: The Life of Peggy Guggenheim) revisits one of America's most popular writers with insight and finesse, in this rich, detailed biography of Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961). Hemingway came to fame in 1920s Paris amid the fabled community of American expatriates that also included F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein. His sheer creative energy glowed as he wrote his first novel, The Sun Also Rises, in a little over six weeks. During the Spanish Civil War, Hemingway became a widely read, syndicated correspondent. His well-publicized African safaris and big-game hunting culminated in the celebrated short story "The Snows of Kilimanjaro." Hemingway fired the public imagination, Dearborn shows, becoming a personification and even a caricature of virility for his generation. In 1954, he received the Nobel Prize for literature. Despite the achievements and celebrity, Hemingway led a troubled life complicated by alcohol and three failed marriages, increasingly spinning his wheels and losing his gifts. His 1961 suicide shocked the world. Dearborn speculates at length on what went wrong, attributing Hemingway's collapse to manic depression compounded by brain injuries. Her fluid narrative and careful research contribute to an impressive biography. Hemingway changed our language and the way we think, she asserts. Dearborn's account shines from beginning to end, helped by Hemingway's dramatic life and charismatic personality. Agent: Georges Borchardt, Borchardt Inc. (May)
Reviewed on: 11/14/2016
Release date: 05/16/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-68168-520-5
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-5094-5800-4
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