WHY: “A stunning humanization
of an enigmatic titan.
“A woman writing with a half-century of perspective, Mary Dearborn teases long-hidden secrets out of the life of a hyper-masculine novelist who lived intensely in the moment. Dearborn follows a virile young Hemingway as he tests himself in war, toughens himself in manly sports, conquers vulnerable female hearts, and forges valuable friendships with influential editors and other rising literary artists, including Dos Passos, Pound, and Fitzgerald.
“With a sinewy prose style deployed in masterpieces such as The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms, this charismatic writer opens a compelling modern perspective on a bleak and brutal world where tough-minded heroes live—and die—with steely courage. Yet even in this meteoric ascent, Dearborn discerns troubling signs of callous egotism and heedless mendacity. Failures of character finally do catch up to Papa Hemingway as friendships fail, athletic prowess wanes, emotional outlook sours, and romantic charms evaporate…The momentum of Dearborn’s final chapters gives Hemingway’s shotgun suicide the feel of tragic inevitability.”
—Bryce Christensen, in a starred review for BOOKLIST
“Dearborn’s account shines from beginning to end.
Her fluid narrative and careful research contribute to an impressive biography.”
–PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, starred review
“The rise and fall of the Nobel Prize-winning writer.
Scrupulous…Dearborn distills a wealth of material for a richly detailed investigation of a writer intent on proving his vigor and manliness, on the page and off.”