I first heard of the author Ernest Hemingway, 1899-1961, when I was a freshman at the University of North Dakota. He had committed suicide in July, two months before I arrived on campus
It was perhaps for that reason that my ”Intro to Fiction” professor chose to begin his course that fall with Hemingway’s short story “A Clean Well-lighted Place,” published in 1933.
I was blown away. Later that year, I submitted a short story to the campus literary magazine based upon Hemingway’s style. Quite justifiably, it was rejected.
But I became a lifelong aficionado, reading everything he wrote and even visiting many of the places where he had lived — Oak Park, Paris, Key West and others including his final resting place in Idaho.
Hemingway has not been forgotten.
His books still sell and biographies and commentaries continue to be published.
Just Monday, this new work, Scott Donaldson’s “The Paris Husband,” arrived from Amazon. Donaldson is one of the leading experts on Hemingway (another was my friend and Hemingway mentor the late Robert Lewis, who was a faculty member at UND when I was on the staff there).
I also have Donaldson’s 1977 Hemingway biography, “By Force of Will: The Life and Art of Ernest Hemingway.”
The new “Paris Husband” is briefer, just 142 pages (and should not be confused with Paula McLain’s 2011 book “The Paris Wife,” which is a fictionalized account of Hemingway’s marriage to Hadley Richardson).
Donaldson’s new book pictured here carries the subtitle “How It Really Was Between Ernest & Hadley Hemingway.” It’s on my nightstand waiting for its turn to be read.