Hemingway at eighteen The pivotal year that launched an American legend

Steve Paul, 1953-

Book - 2017

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BIOGRAPHY/Hemingway, Ernest
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Chicago, Illinois : Chicago Review Press 2017.
First edition
Physical Description
xxiii, 230 pages, 12 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 197-218) and index.
Main Author
Steve Paul, 1953- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Having decided against college, 18-year-old Hemingway landed a job with the Kansas City Star. Thrown entry-level assignments on gritty topics, he throws himself into his work, punching out compact, vivid sentences that comport with the paper's writing guide and also hint at the trademark fiction style he would later cultivate. But the Great War was calling, and before his nineteenth birthday Hemingway was serving with the Red Cross on the Italian front, where he would be seriously wounded in a mortar attack. As a strategy for literary biography, searching the events of early adulthood for clues to the broader trajectory can be risky, yet 1917 was an indisputably momentous year for Hemingway and the world, and it is, indeed, illuminating to consider his time as a journalist as a key bridge between the Oak Park boy and the battle-scarred author. Paul, a veteran of the Kansas City Star's editorial staff, provides generous insight into the paper and the city, and his expert interest in Hemingway parallels his fond appreciation for the newsroom's "clack of typing mills and the smoke of countless cigars." Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Paul (coeditor, War + Ink: New Perspectives on Ernest Hemingway's Early Life and Writings), who worked as a writer and editor at the Kansas City Star for more than 40 years, focuses on a significant period in Ernest Hemingway's life, a year that began with his debut as a cub reporter for the Star and ended with his being wounded while serving as a Red Cross ambulance driver in Italy during World War I. This book draws on Paul's knowledge of the Star's history, Hemingway's correspondence, and earlier scholarship, including Charles A. Fenton's The Apprenticeship of Ernest Hemingway and Ernest Hemingway, Cub Reporter, edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli. Paul brings to life the tyro-writer's adventures as he covers a wide variety of news assignments, including stories on vice, crime, and political corruption. Hemingway's apprenticeship at the Star, Paul argues, had a strong influence on the development of the author's major themes as well as his prose style. A generous selection of rarely seen photos enliven the text; an appendix reprints a selection of Hemingway's articles from the Star. VERDICT Written in clear, graceful prose, Paul's book reads like a novel. It should please Hemingway enthusiasts of all stripes, from general readers to scholars.—William Gargan, Brooklyn Coll. Lib., CUNY Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A chronicle of the author's eighteenth year of life covers his first job as a journalist at the Kansas City Star, his Red Cross ambulance service in Italy during World War II, and his wounding right before his nineteenth birthday.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

This biography concentrates on the 18th year of American writer Ernest Hemingway, from his first job as a journalist at the Kansas City Star through his Red Cross ambulance service in Italy during WWII and his wounding and hospital stay two weeks before his 19th birthday. Author Steve Paul, a former writer at the Kansas City Star, has written a previous book on Hemingway. Distributed by Independent Publishers Group. Annotation ©2017 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)

Review by Publisher Summary 3

George Ehrlich Award Recipient In the summer of 1917, Ernest Hemingway was an eighteen-year-old high school graduate unsure of his future. The American entry into the Great War stirred thoughts of joining the army. While many of his friends in Oak Park, Illinois, were heading to college, Hemingway couldn't make up his mind and eventually chose to begin a career in writing and journalism at the Kansas City Star, one of the great newspapers of its day. In six and a half months at the Star, Hemingway experienced a compressed, streetwise alternative to a college education that opened his eyes to urban violence, the power of literature, the hard work of writing, and a constantly swirling stage of human comedy and drama. The Kansas City experience led Hemingway into the Red Cross ambulance service in Italy, where, two weeks before his nineteenth birthday, he was dangerously wounded at the front. Award-winning writer Steve Paul takes a measure of this pivotal year when Hemingway's self-invention and transformation began'from a 'modest, rather shy and diffident boy' to a confident writer who aimed to find and record the truth throughout his life. Hemingway at Eighteen provides a fresh perspective on Hemingway's writing, sheds new light on this young man bound for greatness, and introduces anew a legendary American writer at the very beginning of his journey.