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Portrait of Hemingway (Modern Library)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  123 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
On May 13, 1950, Lillian Ross's first portrait of Ernest Hemingway was published in The New Yorker. It was an account of two days Hemingway spent in New York in 1949 on his way from Havana to Europe. This candid and affectionate profile was tremendously controversial at the time, to the great surprise of its author. Booklist said, "The piece immediately conveys to the read ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published July 6th 1999 by Modern Library (first published 1950)
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Oct 04, 2012 rated it liked it
I'd heard this was a hatchet job, but instead it is as the author wrote:

...I tried to describe as precisely as possible how Hemingway, who had the nerve to be like nobody else on earth, looked and sounded when he was in action, talking between work periods -- to give a picture of the man as he was, in his uniqueness and with his vitality and his enormous spirit of fun intact. -- intro, p 14

Mission accomplished, and it should be noted that this occurred close to the end of his life and also after
Mustapha Safadieh
Nov 13, 2015 rated it liked it
This started off as an interview piece, but was later expanded to sixty-eight pages. Lillian Ross does a decent job of capturing Hemingway in his early fifties, immensely successful and in the process of editing his latest manuscript (at the time.) This was recommended to me by my English professor for the description it features, but I can't help but feel like Ross portrays Hemingway in a manner too... whimsical. He's like a wise, over-grown child, and all characters but himself and Ross treat ...more
I looked up Lillian Ross's Ernest Hemingway portrait article at The New Yorker because I was intrigued by a reference to it in Paul Hendrickson's 2011 book "Hemingway's Boat". In the book, Hendrickson wrote: "So much has been written over the last six decades about Ross's profile, a precursor to what we think of as New Journalism. lt ran on May 13, 1950, and is titled "How Do You Like It Now, Gentlemen?", which is what Hemingway keeps saying aloud in the story—but to whom, and why, it isn't whol ...more
Mar 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was a piece in the New Yorker magazine in the late 40's. I recently re-read it because Ms. Efron's book recounts an interaction with this author. The way she tells it, Ms. Lilian's bio of Hemingway was a scathing critique. The preface to this book acknowledges the controversy, but Ms. Ross disagrees, she claims it was written in a straightforward manner---not analyzing, just describing. This, by the way, is one of the traits I find contribute to the bland about the style of writing in ...more
Dec 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Great fun to read this. Good writing.
May 12, 2008 rated it liked it
One of the first literary journalism pieces I have read, and it was great to see a personal side of Hemmingway. Very telling.
Nick Miller
Apr 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The most darling and delicious piece. Ross will make you wish you lived in that era. The dialogue is just so pretty. Oh, Papa . . .
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"for the children...." Awesome, hilarious, probably a bit insulting if you hold Hemingway sacred.
Dec 26, 2007 rated it really liked it
one of the funniest things i've ever read.
Matt Thompson
Jul 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Short, but fascinating.
E Jeanne Harnois
Oct 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I wanted to reread Lillian Ross's essay on Hemingway and couldn't find the anthology on my shelves, so I bought this book. I am so glad I did! The preface and afterward, both written by Ross, provide additional material about their friendship. Reading that material with the essay puts it in context and left me understanding Hemingway better and liking Lillian Ross even more than I did before.
Martha Curtis
Sep 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
A good description of Hemingway and what kind of person he really was.
Paul Wilner
Dec 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Papa's got a brand new bag...
Jul 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
great read
Dec 10, 2015 added it
Reading this made me wish I had met him!
Jul 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I loved it. It wasn't over thought, just a snapshot of his life. His loves, dislikes, childish pouting, reactions, and displays of joy create a simple but profound depiction of Papa.
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Lillian Ross was an American journalist and author, who was a staff writer at The New Yorker from 1945 until she retired.
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