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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hemingway's Boat

This Christmas, I was given a copy of Hemingway's Boat, by Paul Hendrickson (Thank you, Carol Sue!). With all of the things that have been written about the author, I was skeptical at first. What a fantastic book though! By telling Hemingway's story again, as it pertains to his most cherished possession, Hendrickson is able to shine light upon aspects of the author that previous biographers have missed the boat on entirely. If you're a fan of Hemingway, this is a must read.

One of my favorite parts pertains to a young writer who has bummed across the country and rode atop a train into Key West to meet him. The young man walked up to the writer's front door and knocked. Hemingway answered. The youth would spend the next several months living and working on Hemingway's new boat, Pilar.What a story. What a journey.

When I first started skipping middle school and sneaking off to the library to read all day, Hemingway was one of the authors I read based on recommendations from the librarian. Yes. It's true. Two-thirds of a century ago and you could walk up to a famous author's house and meet him. A third of a century ago, and you could ditch school and the librarian would think nothing of it so long as you were genuinely interested in literature.

Ever since that time, Hemingway has been a major influence and a favored author. In fact, my newest novel, that I am final editing right now, was inspired largely by walking up the same sidewalk that the young man traversed to meet the author, and visiting Hemingway's house in Key West, Florida last year. I've been working on the novel ever since! This is a picture that Lorri took that day of the house.
If you're a Hemingway fan, then you haven't lived until you've made the journey and driven through the Keys with someone you love. If you're not a Hemingway fan, you should probably make that drive anyways, because, well, it is so damned beautiful and the water is so damned blue.
And if you're a Hemingway fan and can't afford to make the journey, buy Hemingway's Boat. It is the closest thing you can get to the feeling of standing on Hemingway's front porch, or knowing what it feels like to stand on his veranda. But try to get there somehow, someday...because even the most beautiful girl in the world looks just a tiny bit more beautiful when she is in the Keys, in front of that blue water.

Thanks for Reading!

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