I love to meet authors, or if I can’t meet them personally, to listen to them speak about their books and their passion for writing. I find it fascinating.
In the beginning of December I noticed a sign at the Rochester Public Library that Paula McLain, author of “The Paris Wife” was going to be speaking in January. I knew that Deadra loved this book and so I put in my request for it and invited Deadra down for the afternoon event. I started reading the book right before Christmas and ate it up. It was hard to remember that it was historical fiction and not a memoir or biography of the woman who was Ernest Hemingway’s first wife. It is a beautifully written book and made me want to know more about Papa.
Paula talked about how she got the idea to write the book from Hadley’s point of view and how she read thousands of pages of letters that Hadley had written to Ernest while they were courting. Unfortunately, Hadley destroyed her letters from Ernest after their messy divorce (reminded me a little of the Love Letter Bonfire that Beth and I had a few years ago!), but as a result, she really got an understanding of how Hadley thought and felt.
Paula recommended we look at Hemingway’s passport photo from 1923 and challenged us to see if we didn’t get a little swoony at the sight. Deadra and I agreed that it didn’t do it for us, but I found this picture of him in 1921 that does make him look a little dreamy. (Sorry it’s so small!)
I also found this wedding photo from Hadley and Ernest’s wedding, which I thought was pretty fun.
It was fascinating to listen to Paula talk about her passion she found while researching for this book and I’m glad that I read the book before listening to her discussion. I also liked to hear the reaction she is getting from the descendents of the Hemingways. Made me tear up a little!
I will read Hemingway – Deadra and I think “A Moveable Feast,” his last book – sounds like a great one to read, so it will go on my TBR list!
As I was listening to her speak, I wondered if I could challenge myself to find an author discussion/book reading each month for the year 2012… I know I will keep looking for them and going when I can! I just love hearing authors talk about writing! If you click on the picture of Paula McLain above, it is linked to an interview done with her on The Hemingway Project blog. Good stuff!
Off to read!