Tom Maschler, helped Mary with A Moveble Feast. (Some photos added by me.) Aside from the Hemingway connection, he had quite a life.

British publisher Tom Maschler, who conceived the coveted Booker Prize, dies at 87

His crowning achievement arguably came in 1969, when he persuaded sugar trading firm Booker-McConnell to establish a literary prize to rival the French Prix Goncourt. The award, given annually, was later called the Man Booker Prize and is now known as the Booker Prize.The New York Times October 24, 2020 10:58:10 ISTBritish publisher Tom Maschler, who conceived the coveted Booker Prize, dies at 87

At 26, Tom Maschler was made literary director of Jonathan Cape and catapulted to fame when he acquired the British rights to Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. Image via Twitter

By Sam Roberts

Tom Maschler, the swashbuckling British publisher who fostered the literary careers of more than a dozen Nobel laureates and conceived the coveted Booker Prize to promote fiction, died on 15 October in a hospital near his home in Luberon, in southeastern France. He was 87.

A Jewish refugee from Nazi-occupied Vienna, where his father was a publisher, Maschler was 26 in 1960 when he was named literary director of Jonathan Cape, the prominent London publishing firm, a month after the death of its founder.

He catapulted to early fame by buying the British rights to Joseph Heller’s debut novel, Catch-22, for a bargain 250 pounds in 1961 (the equivalent of about $700 then and about $6,500 today), and, the next year, by transplanting himself to Idaho shortly after the suicide of Ernest Hemingway to help Hemingway’s widow, Mary, prepare the novelist’s memoir A Moveable Feast for publication.

Hem and Mary

He also published or nurtured Martin Amis, Jeffrey Archer, Julian Barnes, Bruce Chatwin, Roald Dahl, John Fowles, Clive James, Ian McEwan, Edna O’Brien, Thomas Pynchon, Philip Roth and Kurt Vonnegut.

Neither he nor his critics considered him a scholar. He was rejected by the University of Oxford when he applied as an English major. He admitted to being a labored writer. His memoir, Publisher (2005), was widely mocked by reviewers, including one who concluded that it established Maschler’s mantra as “When in doubt, claim credit.”

A Moveable Feast

But no one disputed that the splashy Maschler, who had lived largely by his own wits since he was 12, had jolted the clubby British publishing world with his discerning eye for fiction and his Barnumesque promotional ingenuity.

He acquired a collection of writings and doodles by John Lennon and published them in two volumes, In His Own Write in 1964 and A Spaniard in the Works in 1965. In 1983 he published one of the first pop-up books, The Human Body, by Jonathan Miller.

He decided to publish an early manuscript attributed to an author named Virginia Stephen, before he was informed that it was the maiden name of Virginia Woolf.

And after overhearing Desmond Morris, a zoologist, drop the phrase at a cocktail party, he commissioned Morris to write The Naked Ape (1967), a biological perspective on human behavior that became a bestseller. He later recalled counseling Morris, “If you turn this into a book, it’ll be so successful you’ll never again be taken seriously by scientists, but you’ll be very rich.”

His crowning achievement arguably came in 1969, when he persuaded sugar trading firm Booker-McConnell to establish a literary prize to rival the French Prix Goncourt. The award, given annually, was later called the Man Booker Prize and is now known as the Booker Prize.

“The Booker may be the most important thing I’ve ever done,” Maschler told The Guardian in 2005. “It certainly had an impact, and if it means people think they should occasionally read a good novel, that is something I’m very proud of.”

Thomas Michael Maschler was born on 16 August, 1933, in Berlin to Kurt Maschler, a successful publisher’s representative who later became a publisher himself, and Rita (Lechner) Maschler.

Failing to gain passage to Sweden, where they had hoped to proceed to America, Tom and his mother moved to Britain. (His parents had separated by then.) His mother took a housekeeping job on a country estate while he attended a Quaker school.

When he was 12, he was sent to Brittany to learn French. Shortly after that he won a summer scholarship to a kibbutz in Israel, which he was able to reach only after he had audaciously written David Ben Gurion, the Israeli prime minister, asking him to intercede on his behalf.

Maschler was admitted to Oxford to study philosophy, politics and economics (but not English). He rejected the offer after he learned that he had been accepted because of his prowess at tennis.

Instead he traveled to the United States, where he worked in a tuna cannery, was detained for hitchhiking and wrote travel articles for the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times (for which in 1952, at the age of 19, he chronicled a sojourn that had begun when he arrived in New York that year with $13).

He returned to Europe and, after succeeding as a tour guide in Britain and failing as a film director in Italy, entered publishing in 1955 as a production assistant at André Deutsch. He moved to MacGibbon & Kee, to Penguin and finally to Cape, where he was chair from 1970 until the company was bought by Random House in 1991.

Maschler’s survivors include his wife, Regina (Kulinicz) Maschler, whom he married in 1988; three children, Ben, Hannah and Alice, from his first marriage, to Fay Coventry; and several grandchildren.

Maschler, who hopscotched between homes in London, Wales, France and Mexico, was “more admired than liked,” as The Guardian put it. Publisher Patrick Janson-Smith called him “a tainted genius with the gift of being a stranger to self-doubt.”

Asked by The Japan Times in 2008 whether he believed in himself, Maschler replied: “Yes, I believe in myself. I am not necessarily better than other people, but I know I am different from other people. Correct?”

“Yes, yes,” his press agent replied obligingly.

“Actually,” Maschler added with a laugh, “I think I am better as well.”

Sam Roberts c.2020 The New York Times Company

Updated Date: October 24, 2020 10:58:10 IST


Hem’s 16 Essential Books for Reading

The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof, shit detector.
Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway was notoriously generous to young writers and fans seeking his input.  A.E. Hotchner who became a good confidante and friend met  Hem in the Spring of 1948 when he was dispatched to Cuba on assignment by Cosmopolitan magazine to get an article on Hem about The Future of Literature.  The magazine was putting out an issue about “the future” of everything: architecture, cars, art, etc. You get the idea.  So why not have the lion of literature give an interview on the future of literature.

Hotchner sent a note to Hem saying that he’d been sent down on “this ridiculous mission but did not want to disturb him, and if he could simply send me a few words of refusal it would be enormously helpful to the The Future of Hotchner.” A.E. Hotchner, Papa Hemingway. Page 4.

 Instead, Hem rang him the next day.

“This Hotchner?” he asked


“Dr. Hemingway here. Got your note. Can’t let you abort your mission or you’ll lose face with the Hearst organization, which is about like getting bounced from a leper colony.  You want to have a drink around five? There’s a bar called La Florida. Just tell the taxi.”  A.E. Hotchner, Papa Hemingway, page 4.

. And thus began a beautiful friendship.

Hem, Mary, and AE Hotchner
Hem, Mary, and AE Hotchner

I recently read an article that detailed how  one Arnold Samuelson hitchhiked 2,000 miles, from Minnesota to Florida in 1934 to meet Hemingway. Samuelson was trying to make a go of it as a writer and was so impressed by the short stories that he traveled to get advice from his idol.
Samuelson wrote, “It seemed a damn fool thing to do, but a twenty-two-year-old tramp during the Great Depression didn’t have to have much reason for what he did.”

A Farewell to Arms
A Farewell to Arms

 Ultimately, Samuelson found Hemingway who provided him with insights, and soon hired him on as his assistant.  Hem gave him a list of 16 books essential to any complete education.  The list is interesting to consider.

Drum roll:  the list is:

1. “The Blue Hotel” by Stephen Crane
2. “The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane
3. “Madame Bovary” by Gustave Flaubert
4.”Dubliners” by James Joyce
5. The Red and the Black” by Stendhal
6.  “Of Human Bondage” by Somerset Maugham
7. “Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy
8. “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy
9. “Buddenbrooks” by Thomas Mann
10. “Hail and Farewell” by George Moore
11.”The Brothers Karamazov” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
12. “The Oxford Book of English Verse”
13.  “The Enormous Room” by E.E. Cummings
14.  “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte
15.  “Far Away and Long Ago” by W.H. Hudson
164.  “The American” by Henry James
So what would make your list?  A few of the above escape me but most have stood the test of time.

The Old Man and The Sea
The Old Man and The Sea

When the Uncle of your Wife Buys you a House

A Farewell to Arms
Farewell to Arms

Key West
Key West

Hem and Pauline
Pauline and Hem

A few facts about The Hemingway House at 907 Whitehead Street: It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in Key West

Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley, lived very modestly in Paris. Hadley had a small trust that enabled them as young newly weds to go abroad and for Hemingway to focus on his writing. He did earn money from his journalism but the trust helped significantly.

When Hem met and fell in love with a young and stylish writer for Vogue in Paris, Pauline Pfeiffer, he felt guilt but he also had fewer money worries when he left Hadley for her good friend, Pauline. Pauline was from a wealthy family from St. Louis. Her family made money in Pharmaceuticals and her Uncle Gus funded the purchase of the home in Key West. Hem dedicated A Farewell to Arms to Uncle Gus.

Sara Murphy and Pauline Hemingway
Sara Murphy and Pauline Hemingway

Still, it can rankle to live in a house paid for by your wife’s family and Hemingway wrote in The Snows of Kilimanjaro through the main character, Harry, that the rich had ruined Harry’s fervor for writing bravely and writing all that he needed to.  The parallels are not too subtle as to Hemingway’s own life,. If you visit Key West, there is still a penny cemented into the pool surround. Supposedly Hemingway was irritated with the escalating costs of renovation and the pool in particular.  It was one of the largest in its day.  He told Pauline in a fit of pique that it was taking his last penny, so she threw one into the cement as it was setting. It’s still there. The woman had a sense of humor!

Key West is a lovely home, more elegant than Cuba, but Cuba was wilder, rougher, and I think more to Hemingway’s taste.

Some Hemingway Trivia for the Day

For this post, I present some trivia that people might not know about Hemingway.

  1. He often wrote standing up especially after the two plane crashes made long bouts of sitting uncomfortable.

    Hem writing standing
    Hem writing standing
  1. His father committed suicide. His first wife’s father committed suicide. Two of his siblings committed suicide. His former wife, Martha Gelhorn, committed suicide. His Italian muse, Adriana Ivancich, committed suicide. And, of course, Hemingway committed suicide in 1961.

Martha Gellhorn
Martha Gellhorn

  1. Contrary to popular myth, his favorite drink was not a Mojito, but a very dry, very cold Martini.

    To Hem
    To Hem
  1. He originally grew the beard to hide a recurrent skin condition and it became his signature look.

Hem writing
Hem writing with the beard

  1. He never went to college.
  1. He was actually shy when not drinking.

    Drinking and working with cat
    Drinking and working with cat
  1. He had an amazing wit and sense of humor, which is not evident in his novels. Read his letters.
  1. He had little interest in his sartorial presentation. He preferred loose slacks or shorts and wore them to rags.


  1. His pets were part of his family and he worried about them tremendously when he was away from home. The death of a stray who became his constant companion, Black Dog, threw him into a severe depression. He never got over that death.

10. He always wanted a daughter. His fourth wife Mary became pregnant and a girl was expected, but it was an ectopic pregnancy and was lost. Hemingway had three sons—Jack, the oldest, with his first wife Hadley, and Gregory and Patrick with his second wife Pauline.

Favorite Lines: What are yours? A few of mine. This is part one. at some point there will be a part two.

the Sun Also Rises
the Sun Also Rises

happy end of dog days of summer!


  1.)      You are all a lost generation.  The Sun Also Rises.

2.)      They’re only dangerous when they’re alone, or only two or three of them together.  Chapter 13 – The Sun Also Rises.L2008.87 025

3.)      Isn’t it pretty to think so?  Last line of  The Sun also Rises.

4.)      Enjoying living was learning to get your monies worth and knowing when you had it.  Chapter 14 – The Sun Also Rises.

Blake Lively as Brett
Blake Lively as Brett

5.)      You know it makes one feel rather good deciding not to be a bitch.  Chapter 19 – The Sun Also Rises.



6.)’ll fall in love with me all over again.  A Farewell to Arms.

7.)      The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broker places. A Farewell to Arms.

stronger in the broken places
stronger in the broken places

8.)      But life isn’t hard to manage when you’ve nothing to lose.   A Farewell to Arms.

9.)      No, that is a great fallacy.  The wisdom of old men.  They do not grow wise, they grow careful.  A Farewell to Arms.

10.)      You won’t do our things with another girl, or say the same things, will you?   A Farewell to Arms.

Not our things
Not our things



Interview with Hem in Spanish after Nobel Prize

This is interesting . It’s in Spanish and you can tell that Hemingway was enunciating carefully and considering his answers.  It seems that he really tried to be gracious about his fans although he was not thrilled with the publicity after the Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes.

Hemingway and Flannery O’Connor

My Friend, Don, sent on this article. I am not reproducing below only because it is a long one but am sending the link. I enjoyed it and found the parallels and comments on religion, violence, lifestyle to be very interesting. Hope you do too! Waiting for power to go on in Connecticut! Best to all, Christine’Connor%20%281925-1964%29,day%20and%20tending%20to%20her%20brood%20of%20

Image result for photos of flannery o'connor
Flannery O’Connor

“Ernest Hemingway’s published works littered with errors, study says.” Really? This study queries where was the editor. Um, Max Perkins was the editor and what do you all think?

Ernest Hemingway’s published works littered with errors – studyErnest Hemingway's published works littered with errors – studyAugust 3, 2020 – 18:10 AMTPanARMENIAN.Net – Legendary writer Ernest Hemingway’s published writings are riddled with hundreds of errors and little has been done to correct them, The Guardian reports citing a forthcoming study of his texts.Robert W Trogdon, a leading scholar of 20th-century American literature, said Hemingway’s novels and short stories were crying out for editions that are “as accurate to what he wrote as possible” because the number of mistakes “ranges in the hundreds”. Although many are slight, he said, they were nevertheless mistakes, made primarily by editors and typesetters.The majority of Hemingway’s manuscripts are held at the John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, where Trogdon has pored over the originals.He singled out, for example, the 1933 short story A Way You’ll Never Be, which mistakenly features the word “bat” rather than “hat” when the character Nick Adams is explaining catching grasshoppers to the confused Italian soldiers. Hemingway originally wrote: “But I must insist that you will never gather a sufficient supply of these insects for a day’s fishing by pursuing them with your hands or trying to hit them with a hat.”Misspellings in one edition of “The Sun Also Rises”, his 1926 novel about disillusioned expatriates in postwar France and Spain, include the bullfighter “Marcial Lalanda” appearing as “Marcial Salanda”, an easy mistake to make because of the similarity of the author’s handwritten “L” and “S”, Trogdon observed. There is also a restaurant called “Ciqoque” when Hemingway meant the real-life Paris eatery Cigogne, again an easy mistake for someone unaccustomed to distinguishing the author’s “q” and “g”.
This is Christine. Hemingway was a poor speller but this is odd and yes, interesting.
Spelling? It’s not my strong point.

Myth # 3: Hemingway as Misogynist??

The one thing I know is that a woman should never marry a man who hated his mother. Martha Gellhorn.

I write one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of shit. I try to put the shit in the wastebasket. Ernest Hemingway

Married to a man who hates mother
Married to a man who hates mother

Hemingway Misogynist (Definition) – noun, jargon. A male heterosexual individual whose misogynistic beliefs are seen predominantly when he is in a relationship with a strong, independent female who is, most likely, smarter than him. The Hemingway Misogynist is capable of having powerful lifelong friendship bonds with a few strong, independent women smarter than him, but only if he never enters into a sexual relationship with them. He will often say and believe hateful things about women in general, citing his own female friends as individual exceptions. Don’t sleep with this dude, because he will leave tire marks on your lawn when you publish your dissertation to rave critical reviews. Hemingway misogynists, Hemingway cats. Andrea Grimes

I'm insane due to men
I’m insane due to men

Hmm. May I protest?? Pauline, Martha, and Mary were all smart strong women.  And Hadley was no dope. And he seems to have slept with all of his wives.  Pauline and Mary did tend to defer to Hem but I’d say he liked that both were smart.  Martha did challenge him and he did like his wives to be home with life revolving around him.  However, I never saw him as disliking women.  He just liked his life the way he liked it.

If we look at his literary women, what can we see? Brett, from The Sun Also Rises was smart and strong although troubled. Jake presumably slept with Brett before his injury.  Catherine, from A Farewell to Arms, was a career woman before her time and she drove a good amount of that relationship.  Maria, in For Whom the Bell Tolls, was young but strong. Pilar was a mountain of a woman, brave, and a hero in my book. Not one was a wimp or simpering girly-girl who just wanted to be dominated.  Falling in love is not the same as wanting to be subservient.

Love is the answer (ha !)
Love is the answer (ha !)

Yup, there were many manipulative bitchy women in the short stories and novellas but many of the men were no prizes either. Helen in the Snows of Kilimanjaro and Margo in The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber were wealthy, entitled, and limited. Still Harry in The Snows freely admitted his weaknesses and Helen’s efforts to help him as a writer. When honest, he admitted it was he who chose to be seduced by the easy life more than it was Helen forcing his hand.  Margo was not easy in her condescending way but Francis was without backbone until the tragic end.

Catherine and Frederic
Catherine and Frederic

Hemingway was attracted to women with spirit: Marlene Dietrich, Jane Mason, Josephine Baker, Gertrude Stein, Adriana.  All had opinions, attitude, and grace. Yes, Hem hated his mother but he didn’t hate women-kind. In fact, there is ample evidence that he enjoyed women quite a bit not just as lovers but as friends and sounding boards. But, hey, who knows? what do you think?