Ernesto: The Untold Story of Hemingway in Revolutionary Cuba
By Andrew Feldman
Four To-Be-Read Piles =
Totally Worthy of Your To-Be-Read Pile!
Reviewer: Sage Webb
If I could have dinner with a writer from the past, I would pick Hemingway. Better yet, I’d take a chance to head out into the Gulf Stream with him on his boat Pilar or on my boat. I just like the guy: his work, his sense of adventure, his lack of restraint. I get the flaws—I hear you on all the ways he comes up short—but I still like him . . . like his art.
In Ernesto, Andrew Feldman and Melville House Publishing (2019 release) give readers an intimate portrait of Papa and the women who loved him, the Cuban people he touched and who touched him, and what it means to say “eso es Hemingway”—that’s Hemingway. Feldman includes over 100 pages of notes and a bibliography that features Paul Hendrickson’s Hemingway’s Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost, 1934-1961 (an awesome read that kept me up way too late for multiple nights in a row and made me yearn for one day on the deck of Pilar). Feldman also situates Hemingway and his time in Cuba in the twenty-first century, ending the book with an important reminder: “Beyond his art, the Cuban people also elevate Hemingway as a symbol for the lost understanding and friendship with his native United States. They remain hopeful that this friendship will someday be renewed.” (During a trip to the island with First-Hand Aid, I encountered the same kind of hope, and for anyone interested in learning more about Cuba and lending a hand to their brothers and sisters across those fateful 90 (or really, 90-ish/94) miles of sea, I’d recommend checking out First-Hand Aid.)