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


Picador 192pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

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


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

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