Autumn in Venice: Ernest Hemingway and His Last Muse

Andrea di Robilant. Knopf, $26.95 (368p) ISBN 978-1-101-94665-7
There are few surprises in this unilluminating account by di Robilant (Chasing the Rose) of Hemingway’s infatuation with a vivacious young Italian woman. The story begins in the fall of 1948, with Hemingway and his wife, Mary, setting off for Venice, where he hoped to finish an ambitious writing project. Writing in fits and starts, he went out duck hunting early one morning and met 18-year-old Adriana Ivancich, a socialite from a prominent local family. By the time the Hemingways left Venice the following spring, his writing was flowing on the novel that would become Across the River and into the Trees, and he’d transformed Adriana into his muse. The pair kept up their relationship, corresponding and meeting several more times, while Hemingway modeled the novel’s character of Renata on Adriana, and compelled his publisher to use her illustration for its cover, and another later for The Old Man and the Sea’s. In addition to Ivancich’s journals and Hemingway’s letters, di Robilant draws on his own great-uncle Carlo di Robilant’s recollections as a member of Hemingway’s circle at the time. Despite this personal connection, di Robilant’s account of a literary lion famous for his affairs reveals nothing particularly new about a much-written-about writer. Agent: Michael Carlisle, InkWell Management. (June)
Reviewed on: 03/05/2018
Release date: 06/05/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-1-101-97038-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-6651-3732-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-6651-3731-7
Book - 978-1-101-94666-4
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