MP3 CD; 15 Discs. Simon & Schuster Audio. $399.99.
I just ordered my set. The New York Times review of the audible feastby Paul Hendrickson of the set was very positive. Various actors, many well known, such as Stacy Keach, William Hurt, and Donald Sutherland, are reading all of Hem’s works. Stacy Keach reads “Big Two-Hearted River.” As Mr. Hendrickson writes:
Take that wavery masterpiece, “Big Two-Hearted River,” ostensibly just a long “fish story,” which a barely known 25-year-old sat down and wrote in two parts at a marble table at the Closerie des Lilas in Paris in August 1924 — almost as if he were practicing literary modernism without ever having heard of the term. As read here, the story is wonderful. Keach’s voice takes on a spooky darkness that is somehow simultaneously light and hopeful. The tale is about a damaged young man named Nick, home from the war, alone on a camping trip in the woods of northern Michigan, trying to get his mind back by repeating loved, learned rituals of boyhood: unpacking his tent, smoothing the sandy ground he would sleep on, using an ax to “slit off” the “bright” pine slabs for the tent pegs, hanging the cheesecloth to keep out the mosquitoes, bubbling the beans and spaghetti in the little pan atop the wire grill over his fire. And then, the next morning, after the sun is up, heading for the river with his fly rod and captured hoppers. The word “war” never appears.
But now with Keach, his voice sometimes in a whisper, I seemed to be hearing that word, or the implications of that word, in almost every line. “It could not all be burned,” the author wrote. “He felt all the old feeling.” And, yes, “It was all back of him.” And, yes, “The river was there.” Such an elegant, elemental Hemingway sentence.
The review itself by Henrickson is quite lovely and I enjoyed it immensely. It made me want to order my set immediately which I did. He also notes that some of the readers picked up on Hem’s own intonation when self-consciously called upon to read his own works or give a speech. A few posts back, I included a link to his acceptance speech of the Nobel Prize. Listen to that and to his enunciation. Hendrickson describes it well.
Hemingway’s Daughter by Christine Whitehead is a work of fiction inspired by the concept that multi-awarded American author Ernest Hemingway had a daughter. Meet Finn Hemingway, only daughter of the maverick American writer from his first wife, Elizabeth Hadley Richardson. Divided into five chapters named after Hemingway’s books, it offers an intimate look at his life and time through the eyes of Finn Hemingway.
Hemingway’s Daughter is a remarkable work of fiction that is so real one may actually start to believe that Ernest Hemingway really had a daughter. All the characters in the novel, except Finn Hemingway, are real people. But what is most amazing is how this book unravels the man behind the legend because, as Ernest Hemingway interacts with his daughter Finn, you will discover a man who is mostly funny, surprisingly modest, and undeniably a loving father. It is refreshing to imagine that Ernest Hemingway was not only an exceptional writer, but was also very human after all.
REVIEW BY EMILY-JANE HILLS ORFOR
5 Stars – Congratulations on your 5-star review
Reviewed By Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers’ Favorite
Sometimes having famous parents can be more of a curse than a blessing. Of course, you might have everything you dreamed of owning: the best horse, the best schools, and the opportunity of pursuing the best career choice available. But sometimes things don’t go as planned. Finn Hemingway was the daughter of the famous American author, Ernest Hemingway, his only daughter (fictionally of course as Hemingway never had a daughter).
Christine M. Whitehead’s novel, Hemingway’s Daughter, is an enchanting story of a young girl growing up in a difficult era: the Depression years and World War II. Creating a character that never existed and plotting her next to a famous historical figure like Ernest Hemingway presents an almost Great Gatsby aura. Each chapter is cleverly introduced with a quote from one of Hemingway’s great works, a powerful foreshadowing of what the chapter will pursue. The characters are well developed and the story is believable as readers will start researching on their own to see if Hemingway actually did have a daughter. The structure of the plot follows the protagonist’s three dreams, the most important dream to become “a female Clarence Darrow, righting wrongs, helping people.” The reader will instantly feel compassion for the protagonist as she struggles to achieve her dreams and live her life free of the Hemingway aura. A brilliantly poignant story.
REVIEW BY FOLUSO FALAYE
5 Stars – Congratulations on your 5-star review
Reviewed By Foluso Falaye for Readers’ Favorite
An unrivaled mix of fiction and reality! I absolutely loved Hemingway’s Daughter and the way major societal issues are woven into the story: relationship issues, substance abuse, sexism, war, statutory rape, financial problems, stardom, loss, mental disorder, and more. You know when you read a story and start to remember your similar experiences? I felt that way several times while reading this book. The characters felt so real that it’s hard to believe they are fictional. Though the story progresses at a slow pace, it is deeply engrossing; I was completely absorbed in the book, its characters, and the historical period it is set in. Christine M. Whitehead’s endearing and charming story about a daughter’s love for her father and her bittersweet experience with her career and love life is recommended for special, cozy moments.
REVIEW BY SHRABASTEE CHAKRABORTY
5 Stars – Congratulations on your 5-star reviEW
Reviewed By Shrabastee Chakraborty for Readers’ Favorite
Despite having three sons, Ernest Hemingway, one of the greatest novelists ever, always craved a daughter. What if Hemingway had had a daughter? What if that daughter was a strong-willed woman who strived to make her mark in the law business, a male-dominated profession at that time?. The novel sheds light on the illustrious character of Hemingway as well, redefining his rigorous writing process and his books.
Hemingway’s Daughter is a beautiful book, merging a memoir and a coming-of-age story. While the central character never existed in reality, you couldn’t have guessed it from the book. Christine M. Whitehead seamlessly incorporated Finley into Hemingway’s life while strictly maintaining the timeline of the actual events. She described the unique chemistry between them – the daughter vying for her father’s undivided attention yet learning to accept his ultimate devotion to his works. Finley Hemingway did not want to be overshadowed and did not want to bask in the reflected glory, either. She fought to pave a path for herself in a field that did not accept women. Despite having a skewed and unflattering view of love, gleaned from her father’s four marriages, she learned to define it on her own terms. This is a gem of a book. I would recommend this heartwarming read to anyone who wishes to read realistic fiction.
REVIEW BY JOSE CORNELIO
5 Stars – Congratulations on your 5-star review
Reviewed By Jose Cornelio for Readers’ Favorite
This is a well-written and compelling novel with a fascinating premise that explores the question: What if Hemingway had a daughter? The author does an impeccable job in writing about the father-daughter relationship and how the way fathers treat their daughters reflects in the way daughters see and appreciate men. Finn Hemmingway is a compelling, sophisticated, and elaborately developed character who reflects the psychological conundrum of many young women born into famous families. Her emotions are written with ingenuity, especially what she unwittingly falls in love with the boyfriend of the one person in school that torments her and when her dreams of becoming a litigator are frustrated at every turn.
The writing in Hemingway’s Daughter is gorgeous and the point of view, skillfully written in the first-person narrative voice, is absorbing. Christine M. Whitehead has the uncanny gift of unveiling the complex inner worlds of the characters and prompting readers to ask important questions about life, love, parenting, and womanhood. The novel is deftly written, balanced, and entertaining in an intriguing sort of way.
REVIEW BY EDITH WAIRIMU
Reviewed By Edith Wairimu for Readers’ Favorite 5 Stars
Hemingway’s Daughter by Christine M. Whitehead is a creative and fascinating historical fiction novel that imagines the life of a daughter born to Hadley and Ernest Hemingway. Born in 1925, Finley “Finn” Hemingway grows up sharing her father with the world. As each of his marriages disintegrates and his popularity grows, Finn questions his commitment toward her and her brothers.
Christine M. Whitehead develops a believable and interesting main character in Hemingway’s Daughter. Finn is perceptive, sometimes even courageous enough to confront her father. The novel is also well-researched and Finn’s life moves parallel to her father’s. The entwining of real events and fictional ones also adds realism to the novel. Masterly storytelling and compelling characters make Hemingway’s Daughter by Christine M. Whitehead a standout young adult novel.
When David Brooks visited Cuba and Hemingway’s home, the Finca Vigia, in 2016, he wrote an article about it. He commented on how
healthy a place Hemingway’s home in Cuba seemed. It was bright, beautifully situated, and filled with tons of reading material.Hemingway was an avid reader of newspapers and all sorts of books and got through most of his daily newspapers and other reading. There also was a baseball diamond nearby where he used to pitch to the local kids.
However despite this sun-filled life, Hemingway nevertheless was not a healthy man toward the end of his life. Drinking had taken its toll and although Brooks cites Hemingway’s brother, Leicester, as stating that he counted17 scotch and sodas a day as his brother’s intake, Leicester –at least based on all of my reading–spent little time with Hemingway so I’m not sure how he would know. If anyone reading this knows more of this issue than I do, please comment. Despite Hemingway’s drinking and poor habits, on a wall in the Finca was Hemingway’s record of weight, which he was obsessed with.
Brooks noted that Hemingway could be lively and funny, and be the life of the party in a good way, but he also could be argumentative and depressed. If you follow this blog, you’ll know the extent.
The article is very interesting. Quoting a bit of David Brooks’ article:
“When you see how he did it, (Me: meaning how he accomplished his writing) three things leap out. First is the most mundane—the daily discipline of the job. In the house, there is a small bed where he laid out his notes and a narrow shelf where he stood, stared at a blank wall and churned out his daily word count.
“Second, there seemed to have been moments of self-forgetting… if you just try to serve the work—focusing on each concrete task and doing it the way it’s supposed to be done—then you’ll end up obliquely serving the community more.” (I think Brooks is saying there is a loss of self-consciousness in writing when you get to that point.)
“Finally, there was the act of cutting out. When Hemingway was successful, he cut out his mannerisms and self-pity. Then in middle age, out of softness, laziness and self-approval, he indulged himself, but even then, even amid all the corruption, he had flashes when he could distinguish his own bluster from the good, true notes.
“There is something heroic that happened in this house. Hemingway was a man who embraced every self-indulgence that can afflict a successful person. But at moments he shed all that he had earned and received and rediscovered the hardworking, clear-seeing and unadorned man he used to be.”
I decided it was time to re-read Hemingway. I’ve read all of it but lately have been reading more books about him instead of reading him. I just finished Mary (wife 4) Hemingway’s How It Was for the second time. It had been widely criticized as self-serving and not insightful. For me, it still was very interesting to see Mary’s point of view and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about events that I knew much about but this time from Mary’s perspective. She is a complicated figure and that’s for another post. She put up with a lot of verbal abuse from Hem but also seems to have wanted to be “Hemingway’s Wife,” and for that, she endured. She was loyal, and despite some bad times, stayed.
Within the past six months, I also have read Hemingway’s Cats and Hemingway and Fitzgerald.. I loved the animal book as much as anything I’ve read about Hemingway. It’s not scholarly but it’s human and I am an animal person so I melted into the book. I love that Hem loved his animals like family members and he valued their presence in his life.
A month ago,I began reading the short stories again. I read slowly and
found new meaning and layers in this go-round. Favorite: The Snows of Kilimanjaro. I’m now tackling A Farewell to Arms. I’m listening to it on an audio tape because I find it lets me listen and focus on the words and the sentence structure as opposed to being distracted.
In listening, I am finding that there is so much that I missed or that I’d forgotten. Despite my affinity for Hemingway, I don’t like war stories as a rule. However, listening to the dialogue, I became completely engrossed in the maneuvers of Hemingway’s unit/Frederic Henry’s unit and his cohorts with him. I love Rinaldi and the way he calls Frederic “baby.” I loved the love story.
The descriptions are beautiful and immediate and while by modern standards, the romance and the dialogue between Frederic and Catherine are dated, the emotional wallop is still there.
Next up is Across The River and into the Trees, Hemingway’s most maligned novel for which Adrianna Ivancich was his muse. As he was writing it, Hemingway apparently thought it was going to be one of his best. The reviews were brutal. I haven’t read that one in a long time and I want to see if it’s as bad as all that.
So: Do you have a favorite short story? A Clean, Well-Lighted Place is probably my favorite but The Snows of Kilimanjaro is the pinnacle for me–very different lengths–those two–but wow, in 3 pages, what he did in A Clean Well-Lighted Place.
It was quite a 3-night extravaganza of Hemingway on PBS. I’m very interested in what you all thought since we are a bit inside the loop in terms of already having an interest and not coming to the subject matter completely without preconceptions and knowledge.
When I first read about Ken Burns and Lynn Novick doing the series, I was hopeful that it would be balanced. Then when I heard some reviews, I became fearful that it was going to be a hatchet job. After watching all three parts myself, I thought it was fair. Because I know so much about Hemingway already, not a lot was new to me and perhaps that took some of the sparkle out of it. However, I felt that while there were some portions in which he showed up badly, that was him at times and it can’t be avoided if a true portrait is being drawn. And based on all of my reading, when he was bad, he was really bad. Even without the booze, some of his letters were just atrocious. Others, however, were warm, loving and very funny. A man who for weeks slept outside his son Patrick’s room when he was ill to be sure he made it through was the same man who was cruel to Gregory as well as to each of his wives. He was complicated.
I thought they did a good job in exploring the impact of numerous severe concussions throughout his life. When you layer that in with extreme alcoholism and add in a significant swath of mental illness in terms of depression which developed a paranoid component, you have a man whose behavior at any moment could be unexplainable and incomprehensible. I do think anyone who didn’t know much about Hemingway would come away with a sense of a complexity and a sense of the highs and lows, and an interest, perhaps, of knowing more and reading more.
Because it’s an interesting issue of the times, Hemingway’s writings that deal with some fluidity of gender is an interesting issue to explore. I think that those who’ve read a lot of Hemingway and about Hemingway realize that the macho bluster he created, promoted and perpetuated was not all of him – not by a mile. I also have always resented people who write that Hemingway was cruel to Fitzgerald and to Harold Loeb in A Moveable Feast. He was and it was not pleasant to see. However, he also didn’t publish it. It was published posthumously and he didn’t edit it. For all we know, that might have been changed greatly, so I read A Moveable Feast – a book I love – nevertheless realizing he did not have the last say on how it came out or how it was edited.
Many of you know much more about Hemingway than I do and I began this blog in order to be educated by others. Please let me know your thoughts on the special.
Warmest wishes and please keep reading and caring about his writing and him.
P.S. June 1, 2021, my novel–Hemingway’s Daugther will be published. Please look for it if you have an interest. Thank you! C
A Perfect Tonic for the Literate (and Pandemic-Weary) Traveler
Traveling The World With Hemingway
Curtis L. DeBerg, PhD
This lavish over-size 10 x 12 book in beautiful landscape format brings to life the more than one dozen exciting places the great 20th-century novelist Ernest Hemingway called home—for short periods or for years.
When Hemingway’s prose burst on the scene it was considered highly original for its spare, compact yet evocative style. His writing influenced generations of novelists and journalists; his books are still avidly read around the world.
Hemingway won the 1953 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and in 1954 was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Among his enduring legacies in print are A Farewell to Arms (1929), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940), The Old Man and the Sea (1951), the posthumously published memoir of his young years in Paris, A Moveable Feast (1964), and The Nick Adams Stories (1972), thematic short stories from various early collections.
In Traveling The World With Hemingway, hundreds of spectacular new digital images capture the odyssey of the adventurous author’s remarkable life. Starting at his birthplace home in Oak Park, Illinois, you’ll follow his footsteps north to his boyhood summer home near Lake Superior in northern Michigan. Then away to the Italian front during World War I and falling in love in Milan; the cafes of Paris and the bullfight rings of Pamplona; marlin fishing off Key West and hunting in Sun Valley, surviving back-to-back plane crashes in Africa and chasing Nazi subs out of Havana. Ernest Hemingway made all these places and more as vivid and indelible as his fictional characters.
Juxtaposed against page after page of lush landscapes and cityscapes are historic sepia portraits of the author, friends and family in all these far-flung locations. Each chapter opens with a colorful quote from Hemingway about the place you are about to visit as you turn these gorgeous pages.
This is a visual treasure book filled with the romance and inspiration of a great writer’s favorite places—the perfect tonic for the literate (and pandemic-weary) traveler.
* * *
Traveling The World With Hemingway will be released in June 2021 by Wild River Press, winner of multiple Benjamin Franklin Gold Medals for excellence in independent publishing since 2005.
Hardcover 10 x 12 landscape format
All-color 240 pages printed on luxurious matte stock
Illustrated with hundreds of contemporary color with historical archival photos
Retail price: $75 for hardcover standard edition with color jacket
Direct from the publisher exclusively: $300 author’s signed and numbered limited edition of 100 copies only, bound in gold-stamped black leather with matching collector’s slipcase
* * *
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Curtis L. DeBerg became intrigued with Ernest Hemingway when he first traveled to Key West in 2005, to visit a cousin who owned a vacation home near Geiger Key. After 40 years as university professor in California, Dr. DeBerg retired in 2020 to devote his time to researching Hemingway and traveling the world in his footsteps—an ambitious journey no one had ever before attempted on this epic scale. He is a member of The Hemingway Society, a group connecting scholars and historians who love and promote the works of Ernest Hemingway. It has 600 members worldwide, and is one of the largest single-author organizations in existence. He is also a group administrator of the active Facebook group “Ernest Hemingway,” which currently has 28,000 members.
* * *
For interviews with the author or reprint permission, contact Thomas R. Pero, Publisher, at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 425-486-3638
As I await anxiously for the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick PBS film, I’ve come across various and random Hemingway nuggets. Just thought I’d share. Here are a few:
Hemingway had a knack for using common sense to observe life and in so doing, saying something that’s simple but applicable to so many other things in life. “Anyone can be a fisherman in May,” said Santiago in The Old Man and the Sea. Were truer words ever written down?
Steve Gardiner wrote an article about bridges in books. He noted in particular The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thorton Wilder, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce, The Bridge on the River Kwai by Pierre Boulle, The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller, and For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway. I never thought about it before but bridges connect, can be blown up and divide, and have been historically significant.
A new book has come out called Ernest Hemingway: Artifacts From A Life. It’s being sold a number of places but also at the JFK Library and Museum. It’s “beautifully designed, intimate and illuminating. This is the story of American icon Ernest Hemingway’s life through the documents, photographs and miscellaneous items he kept, compiled by the steward of the Hemingway estate and featuring contributions by his son and grandson. ($35.00)
In an article about what books are on celebrities’ shelves, film maker and author Devashish Makhija, whose recent release Oonga is receiving rave reviews, in answer to the question “Who are your favorite authors?” cites three: a) Dashiel Hammett for sharp incisive blasts of emotion he injects in his prose; b) Ernest Hemingway for how he arrives as the heart of the human condition; c) Alice Munro for the delicateness with which she makes us feel.
The author Walter Scott in an article for Parade, said Hemingway’s favorite meal was a New York strip steak, a baked potato, a Caesar salad, and a glass of Bordeaux. (Sounds really good to me.)
Hemingway dedicated a book to each of his four wives: a) The Sun Also Rises to Hadley. He also in their divorce signed over all royalties which included movie proceeds. That was the gift that kept on giving but he had nothing in 1926 when he left Hadley. They had a son. He felt guilty. And Hadley was not greedy. It could have been an empty gift but . .. it wasn’t; b) Death In The Afternoon to Pauline (I’m not sure she would have liked that but I think she would have preferred Farwell To Arms which he dedicated to her Uncle Gus Pfeiffer; c) For Whom The Bell Tolls to Martha; d) Across The River And Into The Trees to Mary. (I don’t think she’d like that either since Adriana was the prototype for Renata but I suppose it’s better than nothing!)
May we all enjoy the Hemingway PBS movie. I’m really hoping they show both sides of him not just the bad side.