A meticulously edited volume offering an unvarnished portrait.


VOLUME 3, 1926-1929

The third volume of a projected 17-volume collection of Hemingway’s letters covers three years during which the author rose to literary fame with the publication of The Sun Also Rises (1926), Torrents of Spring (1926), and the collection Men Without Women (1927).

By 1929, he had completed the manuscript for A Farewell to Arms. The period was marked, too, by emotional upheaval: his father committed suicide, leaving his mother and teenage siblings in financial straits; he ended his first marriage to Hadley Richardson and married Pauline Pfeiffer. Among 344 letters (70 percent of which were previously unpublished) to 92 recipients, only two are to Hadley and 9 to Pauline. Hadley burned her husband’s letters after their divorce, and those to Pauline were destroyed, according to her instructions, after her death. Editor Maxwell Perkins is a frequent recipient; others include family members; friends such as Ezra Pound and F. Scott Fitzgerald; and fellow writers, including Sherwood Anderson and T.S. Eliot. In a detailed introduction, the volume’s editors note that Hemingway’s letters “are unpolished, unselfconscious, candid and casual”—and, they might have added, often catty and gossipy. Money is a recurring theme. Hemingway disparages Robert McAlmon (“without money, he would never have been published anywhere by anybody”); Ford Maddox Ford (“kissing asses of people with money” to fund his magazine); and sometimes himself. “Am thinking of quitting publishing any stuff for the next 10 or 15 years as soon as I get my debts paid up,” he wrote to Fitzgerald. “To hell with the whole goddam business.” The most moving letter is to Hadley, written in November 1926. Acknowledging his cruelty to her because of his affair with Pauline, he implores her not to feel rushed into deciding to divorce. But Hadley stood firm: “Haven’t I yet made it quite plain that I want to start proceedings for a divorce from you—right away?” she responded immediately.

A meticulously edited volume offering an unvarnished portrait.

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-521-89735-8

Page Count: 750

Publisher: Cambridge Univ.

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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