"Edson’s vivid portrayal of the urban area, as well as the working class and underclass, creates a vision of Saint John that highlights the discrepancy between the pre-modern idyllic notion of life in Atlantic Canada and the more complicated reality of the region."

-The New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia

Monday, December 13, 2010

Running With the Bulls

A friend of mine (and fellow Hemingway geek) suggested I read Valorie Hemingway's Running With the Bulls, and so I did. When she was a teenager, Valorie met Hemingway in Spain to interview him. Little did she know she would spend the next two years with him (which were the last two years of Hemingway's life). She traveled thoughout Spain, then moved to Cuba where she lived at the Finca Vigia and worked as his assistant. She met Fidel Castro when Ernest presented the young leader with the trophy for winning the Hemingway fishing tournament. With glimpses into the famed author's life rarely seen before, this book sheds some new and interesting light on one of the greatest writers to ever live.

And if that isn't enough, Valorie married Hemingway's son Gregory, who, it turns out, was more unstable than his suicidal father, having undergone a sex change by the end of their marriage, and treating his wife to some brutally cruel episodes.

Valorie Hemingway is an excellent writer. This book was clearly written by a skilled hand, and I could not put it down. For anyone wanting a different, more personal take on the final chapters of Hemingway's life, read this book.

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