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 Among 344 letters (70 percent of which were previously unpublished) to 92 recipients, only two are to Hadley and 9 to Pauline.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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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

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