An intimate, joy-filled portrait and New York Times bestseller, written by one of Hemingway’s closest friends: “It is hard to imagine a better biography” (Life).
In 1948, A. E. Hotchner went to Cuba to ask Ernest Hemingway to write an article on “The Future of Literature” for Cosmopolitan magazine. The article never materialized, but from that first meeting at the El Floridita bar in Havana until Hemingway’s death in 1961, Hotchner and the Nobel and Pulitzer Prize–winning author developed a deep and abiding friendship. They caroused in New York City and Rome, ran with the bulls in Pamplona, hunted in Idaho, and fished the waters off Cuba. Every time they got together, Hemingway held forth on an astonishing variety of subjects, from the art of the perfect daiquiri to Paris in the 1920s to his boyhood in Oak Park, Illinois. Thankfully, Hotchner took it all down.
Papa Hemingway provides fascinating details about Hemingway’s daily routine, including the German army belt he wore and his habit of writing descriptive passages in longhand and dialogue on a typewriter, and documents his memories of Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Martha Gellhorn, Marlene Dietrich, and many of the twentieth century’s most notable artists and celebrities. In the literary icon’s final years, as his poor health began to affect his work, Hotchner tenderly and honestly portrays Hemingway’s valiant attempts to beat back the depression that would lead him to take his own life.
Deeply compassionate and highly entertaining, this “remarkable” New York Times bestseller “makes Hemingway live for us as nothing else has done” (The Wall Street Journal).