Before A Moveable Feast, I had never read an Ernest Hemingway book. I have a lot of catching up to do.
Interspersed throughout his stories about his time in Paris in the 1920s, Hemingway describes his writing process (“I always worked until I had something done” ) and how he coped when the words would not come (“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know”).
He talks about his friendships with Gertrude Stein (she was “always right”), Ezra Pound (“the most generous writer I have ever known”) and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Though he seemed somewhat of a chauvinist (“There is not much future in men being friends with great women …”), a surprising part was his writing of fatherly duties such as boiling nipples and mixing formula for his son Bumby’s bottles and taking Bumby with him while he wrote in cafes. However, the fatherly duties didn’t include hiring a sitter. He and first wife Hadley often left Bumby alone at home in his crib, watched over by only the family cat. “F. Puss was the baby-sitter,” Hemingway explained.
If you’re interested in Hemingway, “A Moveable Feast” is a good first look. It offers insight into how he wrote and how his personal life influenced his works.
Tiffani Hill-Patterson writes about parenting, fitness and health. She is author of Sound Check Mama, a blog about her daughter’s hearing loss and cochlear implants. Reach her at http://tiffanihillpatterson.com.