cover image Hemingway in Love: His Own Story

Hemingway in Love: His Own Story

A.E. Hotchner. St. Martin’s, $19 (192p) ISBN 978-1-250-07748-6

Beneath the macho persona of the writer “who roams the earth looking for adventure,” Ernest Hemingway was a deeply conflicted human being, a now familiar observation which this memoir from friend and biographer Hotchner (Papa Hemingway) proves yet again. From notes, recordings, and memories of their conversations, Hotchner presents an account of Hemingway’s reminiscences, mostly from 1954 and 1955. Nearing the end of his life and shaken by living through two recent plane crashes, Hemingway looks back, observing, “Loving two women at the same time is the worst affliction a man can have.” In his own words (as reconstructed by Hotchner), we see a young writer in Paris, on the cusp of fame, torn between his first wife, Hadley, and a wealthy Southern flapper, Pauline Pfeiffer. Despite F. Scott Fitzgerald’s injunction to make up his mind, Hemingway vacillated between the two women, until Hadley chose for him. Their divorce allowed for his marriage to Pauline, which also proved unhappy. Though Hemingway is less mentally and physically healthy each time he meets with Hotchner, his stories remain just as compelling. The result is a portrait of triumphant highs, melancholic lows, and the pervading tone of the subject’s generation—a human being’s love lost. Agent: Paul Bresnick, Bresnick Weil Literary Agency. (Oct.)