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The Paris Wife

Paula McLain.
Publisher Ballantine  
Format paperback
ISBN 9780345521316
Pages/Publication Date 331/2012
Daedalus Item Code 38518
This item is not available.
(Named one of the Best Books of 2011 by the Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, Toronto Sun, and NPR) As a sheltered 28-year-old living in Chicago, Hadley Richardson admits, she had all but given up on love and happiness, until she met Ernest Hemingway. In less than a year she married the ambitious young writer and they sailed for Paris, where they became the golden couple in a lively and volatile group that included Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. They were very much in love, but Hadley and Ernest were ill prepared for the hard-drinking, fast-living, free-loving life of Jazz Age Paris. This fictional memoir of their marriage and its disintegration is written in Hadley's voice. Paula McLain sticks to the facts yet imbues Hadley with a deep Midwestern decency and a generous heart, inspired by a trove of passionate letters between her and Hemingway, and his own confession in A Moveable Feast, "I wished I had died before I ever loved anyone but her."

"This absorbing, illuminating book gives us an intimate view of a sympathetic and perceptive woman, the striving writer she married, the glittering and wounding Paris circle they were part of.... McLain reinvents the story of Hadley and Ernest's romance with the lucid grace of a practiced poet."—Seattle Times

"The Paris Wife creates the kind of out-of-body reading experience that dedicated book lovers yearn for, nearly as good as reading Hemingway for the first time—and it doesn't get much better than that."—Minneapolis Star Tribune

"History is sadly neglectful of the supporting players in the lives of great artists. Fortunately, fiction provides ample opportunity to bring these often fascinating personalities out into the limelight.... Paula McLain brings Hadley Richardson Hemingway out from the formidable shadow cast by her famous husband. Though doomed, the Hemingway marriage had its giddy high points, including a whirlwind courtship and a few fast and furious years of the expatriate lifestyle in 1920s Paris. Hadley and Ernest traveled in heady company during this gin-soaked and jazz-infused time, and readers are treated to intimate glimpses of many of the literary giants of the era ... but the real star of the story is Hadley, as this time around, Ernest is firmly relegated to the background as he almost never was during their years together. Though eventually a woman scorned, Hadley is able to acknowledge without rancor or bitterness that 'Hem had helped me to see what I really was and what I could do.' Much more than a woman-behind-the-man homage, this beautifully crafted tale is an unsentimental tribute to a woman who acted with grace and strength as her marriage crumbled."—Booklist

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