Friday, December 23, 2011

The Paris Wife

Like many of you, I'm off visiting relatives. Recently, my mom recommended The Paris Wife by Paula McLain so, of course, I read it. I enjoyed this quite a bit. It's the story of Ernest Hemingway's first wife Hadley Richardson. McLain does a really nice job getting inside the head of her protagonist; it's almost a stream-of-consciousness narrative. As a writer, however, the really fascinating thing here is seeing how all kinds of famous writers like Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein and many others operated. Hemingway basically threw caution to the wind and wrote full-time, and he did so for years before achieving recognition. How many of us are lucky enough to be supported by our spouses while we spend week after week, month after month, year after year, writing full-time with little to no success? That Hadley is a hero if you ask me; without her we probably wouldn't have some (any?) Hemingway classics.

Hemingway's story is a good motivator, despite it's sad ending. People that follow their dreams do sometimes achieve them! If he can write night and day despite barely having enough money for rent and food, surely I can write while I'm on holiday...

Happy Writing!

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