Hemingway in Love: His Own Story by A E Hotchner; The Letters of Ernest Hemingway: Volume 3 – 1926–1929 by Rena Sanderson, Sandra Spanier & Robert W Trogdon (edd) - review by Naomi Wood

Naomi Wood

Falling for Pfife

Hemingway in Love: His Own Story

By

Picador 192pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

The Letters of Ernest Hemingway: Volume 3 – 1926–1929

By

Cambridge University Press 750pp £30 order from our bookshop
 

Ernest Hemingway was sometimes a careless housekeeper of his own work. At the age of twenty-two, he famously lost his first novel on a train bound for Lausanne. In 1929, he left a cache of his notebooks at the Ritz; in the 1930s, he left drafts of old manuscripts at his favourite Key West bar. But for a writer as well known as Hemingway, nothing remains lost for long.

A E Hotchner’s Hemingway in Love is a memoir made from vanishing sources: it’s based on the author’s old ‘disintegrated’ tapes, as well as ‘excised portions’ of Hotchner’s Papa Hemingway, a biography part-bowdlerised by lawyers in 1966. Hemingway in Love juicily promises the stuff left out.

The problem is, [1pass]however, that in the half-century since Papa other biographers have not been so finicky about withholding details. Most of what is told in Hotchner’s book – Hemingway in love with two women in 1926 – has been told elsewhere. So the value of this work lies not so much in

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter