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Travel Review    

 
HEMINGWAY'S KEY WEST
(Second Edition)
by Stuart B. McIver
Pineapple Press, 2002
$10.95 (168p)
ISBN: 1-56164-241-X
 
 
 

Ernest Hemingway first encountered Key West in April 1928 on his way home from Cuba with his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer Hemingway. After hearing his friend complain about the cold, wet, Paris winters, John Dos Passos had recommended the island as place for "Old Hem ... to dry out his bones." Hemingway was enchanted by the island's lack of pretension, social classes, and casual atmosphere. After a brief visit, he asked new-found friends to find a suitable house for himself, Pauline, and their sons. A year later, the couple purchased the Spanish Colonial Mansion on Whitehead Street that would be a refuge for Hemingway until his death in 1961. 

In Hemingway’s Key West, Stuart McIver has given Hemingway aficionados a fine guide from Hemingway's first glance at the island to the legacy his presence imposed on the island. The house the Hemingways purchased on Whitehead Street has become one of the most visited literary landmarks in the United States and the annual Key West Literary Seminar which grew out of the Hemingway Days Writer's Workshop and Conference is amongst the country's most prestigious. 

McIver has blended Key West history and folklore giving a local dimension to many of Hemingway's novels. He's thoughtfully added photographs, a bibliography, and the directions for a two hour walking tour.

 

Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews

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