Hemingway: The American Homecoming

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9780631184812: Hemingway: The American Homecoming

Michael Reynolds' extraordinary evocation of Hemingway's life continues in this third volume, which finds the American writer in Paris in 1926 and follows him through the dissolution of his first marriage and the beginning of his second, ending with the return from his first African safari. It shows the emergence of the public version of Hemingway and the development of a mature and significant literary talent. Most importantly it shows the radical difference between the two versions of Hemingway's male heroes. The now accepted version of these actors (tough, self-reliant, lapidary figures) is shown to be a distinct break from the earlier figures who are vulnerable, wounded survivors living precariously in a doomed world in which they have little control. These are not men with a code of behaviour, nor are they strong, forceful role models. They do not make things happen. They do not fare well with women. As Reynolds shows, this transition has its roots in Hemingway's own life. Hemingway's transition from a rootless and insecure expatriate to the forceful figure of myth is a complex web involving his father's suicide, the great depression, his second marriage and his return to America. Michael Reynolds reveals this narrative with his customary vigour, style and clarity.

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From Library Journal:

This third of five planned volumes on Hemingway is no less outstanding than the previous installments, proving again that Michael Reynolds is the true Hemingway aficionado. Throughout, he adroitly mixes straight facts with deductions on his subjects' thoughts and feelings, creating a living, breathing biography that reads like a good novel. The text covers 1926-29, a transitional period that marked the conclusion of Hemingway's artistic apprenticeship and the cooling of many literary friendships; the end of one marriage and the beginning of another; the suicide of his father; and the writing of The Sun Also Rises , Men Without Women , A Farewell to Arms , and an ultimately abandoned novel. One of the book's many strengths is its juxtaposing events in Hemingway's life with the actions and emotions of his characters. This ongoing biography, destined to stand beside Richard Ellmann's portraits of Joyce and Wilde and Louis Sheaffer's volumes on O'Neill, is the stuff of which Pulitzer prizes are made. Highly recommended.
- Michael Rogers, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

This third volume in Reynolds's biography deals with the 25-month period of Hemingway's life beginning in March 1926, which saw the breakup of his marriage to his first wife, Hadley; the publication of The Sun Also Rises and his emergence from Left Bank obscurity to the status of Paris celebrity; and his marriage to Pauline Pfeiffer and the couple's return to the U.S. for the birth of his second son, Patrick. Especially interesting is the coverage of the writing of A Farewell To Arms after a never-finished novel Hemingway had put aside with 30,000 words completed. Together with the preceding two volumes, The Young Hemingway and The Paris Years, Reynolds has devoted some 826 text pages to bring his subject to within three months of his 30th birthday. His leisurely presentation is rich in detail and rendered with an accomplished narrative touch. More than any of the other biographers, Reynolds provides readers with a sense of what the "becoming" Hemingway was like and how he used his life to create his art. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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