Salter on Hemingway / Biography

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11 October 2011

At the New York Review of Books, James Salter reviews Paul Hendrickson‘s Hemingway’s Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost.  A rather clunky title for a book that sounds well worth reading if you are a fan of the man, or at least the work.

This I did not know about Hemingway’s son Gregory:

[I]n the final riveting act, there enters a grotesque, almost demonic figure, tortured, mesmerizing, a doctor with the prodigious wreckage of three wives, seven or eight children, alcohol, drugs, and adultery trailing behind him, a transvestite who finally has a sex change operation and ends up dying in jail: the always troubled, gifted youngest son, Gregory Hemingway.

He is last seen sitting on the curb in Key Biscayne one morning after having been arrested the night before trying to get through a security gate. He’s in a hospital gown but otherwise naked with some clothes and black high heels bunched in one hand. He had streaked, almost whitish hair that morning, painted toenails, and as the police approached was trying to put on a flowered thong. Five days later he died of a heart attack while being held in a Women’s Detention Center. He was listed as Gloria Hemingway. This was in 2001; he was sixty-nine years old.

More here.

 

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