The True Gen: An Intimate Portrait of Ernest Hemingway by Those Who Knew Him

Denis Brian, Author Grove/Atlantic $19.95 (356p) ISBN 978-0-8021-0006-1
""True gen'' was military slang that Hemingway picked up during WW II. It pertained to genuine, thus useful, information regarding situations that were often life or death. The term provides a fitting title for Brian's (Tallulah, Darling) marvelous oral biography compiled from interviews with more than 100 people who knew Hemingway from his earliest years until his suicide in 196l. Included are wives, sons and other family members; writers, critics and artists; pals and drinking buddies from the wars, the fishing ports of the Caribbean and the hunting grounds of Africa and the American West. Psychiatrists address Hemingway's psychological disturbances, and biographers, who in recent years have created a less than flattering portrait of the man, justify their views. The book is organized to give readers the sense of an ongoing group discussion on Hemingway's creative and personal life, presented chronologically. The exchanges are lively, informative and often disputatious. Those who have been dismayed by what interviewee Archibald MacLeish refers to as ``the current vogue of denigration'' will be well pleased with the portrait that emerges here. Photos not seen by PW. (February)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Paperback - 978-0-385-29738-7
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