Sunday, June 06, 2010

Ernest Hemingway: A Writer's Life by Catherine Reef

Ernest Hemingway was not only one of the most influential American writers of all time - he also had a fascinating life. He was born in 1899 to a wealthy Chicago family. He began writing in school, where his teachers encouraged his talents. When World War I broke out, he went to Italy to fight. His experiences in the army influenced one of his most famous books, A Farewell to Arms. Throughout his life, Ernest Hemingway enjoyed doing the unusual - he was fond of bull fights and safaris. He joined with Spanish forces in the Spanish Civil War. However, despite his exciting life, Hemingway struggled with depression over his writing and life. In 1961, he took his own life. But his writing lives on - his books have become classics of American literature.

Reef's biography of Ernest Hemingway was a fascinating account of Hemingway's life. She aptly used quotes from Hemingway's friends and family to describe his life from his childhood to his death. She provided numerous antidotes that enabled the reader to glimpse into the life of Hemingway in an engaging way. Also, the book had lovely photographs chronically Hemingway's life. However, what I particularly enjoyed in the book was Reef's careful analysis of the factors that influenced Hemingway's writing. Having read some of the Hemingway's works, I found it fascinating to read about the experiences that led Hemingway to write his books. Even for those who have never read a Hemingway novel, this biography gives you a extraordinary glimpse into the life of one of the most influential Americans of the twentieth century.

Reviewer Age:17
Reviewer City, State and Country: Urbana, IL USA