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Running with the Bulls

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Running with the Bulls.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Valerie Hemingway(Author)

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A chance encounter in Spain in 1959 brought young Irish reporter Valerie Danby-Smith face to face with Ernest Hemingway. The interview was awkward and brief, but before it ended something had clicked into place. For the next two years, Valerie devoted her life to Hemingway and his wife, Mary, traveling with them through beloved old haunts in Spain and France and living with them during the tumultuous final months in Cuba. In name a personal secretary, but in reality a confidante and sharer of the great man's secrets and sorrows, Valerie literally came of age in the company of one of the greatest literary lions of the twentieth century.
Five years after his death, Valerie became a Hemingway herself when she married the writer's estranged son Gregory. Now, at last, she tells the story of the incredible years she spent with this extravagantly talented and tragically doomed family.
In prose of brilliant clarity and stinging candor, Valerie evokes the magic and the pathos of Papa Hemingway's last years. Swept up in the wild revelry that always exploded around Hemingway, Valerie found herself dancing in the streets of Pamplona, cheering bullfighters at Valencia, careening around hairpin turns in Provence, and savoring the panorama of Paris from her attic room in the Ritz. But it was only when Hemingway threatened to commit suicide if she left that she realized how troubled the aging writer was-and how dependent he had become on her.
In Cuba, Valerie spent idyllic days and nights typing the final draft of A Moveable Feast, even as Castro's revolution closed in. After Hemingway shot himself, Valerie returned to Cuba with his widow, Mary, to sort through thousands of manuscript pages and smuggle out priceless works of art. It was at Ernest's funeral that Valerie, then a researcher for Newsweek, met Hemingway's son Gregory-and again a chance encounter drastically altered the course of her life. Their twenty-one-year marriage finally unraveled as Valerie helplessly watched her husband succumb to the demons that had plagued him since childhood.
From lunches with Orson Welles to midnight serenades by mysterious troubadours, from a rooftop encounter with Castro to numbing hospital vigils, Valerie Hemingway played an intimate, indispensable role in the lives of two generations of Hemingways. This memoir, by turns luminous, enthralling, and devastating, is the account of what she enjoyed, and what she endured, during her astonishing years of living as a Hemingway.

From the Hardcover edition.

It is one of the best books on Hemingway that I have read, and it has material to be found nowhere else on Ernest, Mary, and Greg Hemingway.NORMAN MAILERValerie Hemingway is, with Hemingway s only surviving son, the last witness to have a precious, intimate knowledge of the family. Her account of Ernest s last years and of the tragic aftermath of his suicide is absolutely riveting: essential reading for anyone interested in the curse of fame.JEFFREY MEYERS, author of "Hemingway: A Biography"This is the best, and best written, of all the reminiscences of Ernest Hemingway, in part because its adventurous author, Valerie Hemingway, is such an absorbing character herself. For once, the great artist, the hero, and the fool seem to be the same person; and the long list of fascinating people in his train are seen with rare frankness.TOM MCGUANE"Running with the Bulls" is hot to the touch. I was not a little dumbfounded that Valerie Hemingway endured and survived the events of her life to write this improbably skillful memoir that frequently made me wish to climb a mountain and sit on a friendly glacier. The author s life with the Hemingways is utterly compelling, and we must praise her for her gifts in giving us the most lucid look yet written at this haunted family.JIM HARRISONThis is a startling, complicated book . . . fresh, trenchant and intimate and revealing, yet sweet-spirited . . . told by a woman with a wonderful voice of her own.DAVID QUAMMEN

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Book details

  • PDF | 352 pages
  • Valerie Hemingway(Author)
  • Random House USA Inc; Reprint edition (8 Nov. 2005)
  • English
  • 4
  • Biography

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Review Text

  • By Mr. Simon P. Casson on 26 August 2013

    After concluding A E Hotchner's "Papa Hemingway" - it made sense to read of Ernest by someone closer to him. Cue Valerie Danby-Smith who would later marry Ernest's son, Gregory. It is a brilliant read giving behind scene insights from some-one who started their relationship with EH as his young PA. Timeframe kicks off in 1959, so hiatus into twelfth hour. Book pulls no punches, is incisive, commenting on the "Cuadrilla", friends, acquaintances, time, places.Hats off to Valerie for assisting Mary Hemingway get Ernest's vital belongings, paintings, manuscripts, papers, letters, notes etc, notwithstanding the monumental job helping catalog everything for the Kennedy Library. We should be indebted to Valerie for this alone. A generous tip of the hat to Fidel Castro (read the book and learn why).The book then deftly segues into the relationship with Gregory Hemingway and the traumas that go to the end. A very important book for those looking to get near to Papa in the last days and the family thereafter.On personal note, wondered if Art Larson from Montana mentioned was same we met in 1999, riding up from Mexico? We stayed at his ranch north of Miles City. If so, a tiny link to Greg for me and a high-point. Art helped get our horses rested before we made Canada. Be great to know.Simon Casson - author "Riding The Outlaw Trail"

  • By Roland Boland on 14 May 2015

    To many students of twentieth century American literature, two authors stand out like beacons: Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, yet they couldn’t have been more different. Hemingway was a broad strokes writer whose themes were big and manly and who, if he wasn’t writing about war and peace and honour, would be game fishing on his boat off the Cuban coast or on safari in Africa, or at a bullfight in Spain. At their first meeting in Paris in 1925 when Fitzgerald was the better established of the two, Hemingway surprised Fitzgerald by taking him into a men's toilet to compare the size of each other's penis. Fitzgerald was much more a cerebral writer whose ideas came from within, and it irked him considerably that, as inspiration dried up and he would have to resort increasingly to the bottle for ideas, Hemingway would be off on the most wonderful adventures, writing about them and creating works of art from them. As both men and their works were so different it was somehow difficult to appreciate both equally, and as a student of both I was much more firmly fixed in the Fitzgerald camp than in Hemingway’s.Since their deaths (Hemingway died in 1961, Fitzgerald in 1940) a great deal has been written about the lives of both men - particularly Hemingway’s - that it is difficult to imagine what else could be added that is of interest. However, there is an insight in Running with the Bulls – My Years with the Hemingways that is of great interest. It has material that cannot be found elsewhere on Ernest and his relationships with his fourth wife Mary, and the rest of his family, particularly his troubled youngest son, Greg. The book also contains fascinating snippets of Hemingway’s meetings with equally famous men such as a young and idealistic Fidel Castro and an admiring Tennessee Williams.In 1959 Valerie Danby-Smith, a recent graduate of secretarial school, encounters Ernest Hemingway in Spain. He employs the attractive 20-year-old who quickly becomes a member of Hemingway’s entourage, assisting him, researching for him and typing manuscripts and all the while living with him and his wife Mary in their house in Malaga. Hemingway is in Spain primarily to attend bullfights, with which he has been obsessed for many years (for those who want to understand bullfighting, Death in the Afternoon, first published in 1932, is the best book ever written on the subject in English).Hemingway is close to his sixtieth birthday and at this stage had recently left wife number 3, the renowned journalist Martha Gellhorn. Valerie becomes indispensable to him, and although there is never any suggestion that there was a sexual relationship between them, it is quite obvious that he was in love with her. She travels with them everywhere, living two eventful years with the great author and his wife in their homes in Malaga, Florida, Idaho and Havana. All the while, relations between she and Mary Hemingway are cool at best.Hemingway grows increasingly paranoid, fearing that his best work is behind him and that there are people trying to kill him. He is continually depressed and eventually enters the Mayo Clinic for treatment. Valerie accepts a similar kind of job in New York with Brendan Behan, the Irish playwright who is about to experience great success on Broadway. Hemingway eventually dies, of a self-administered gunshot wound brought on by his sickness. Valerie is the only person to attend Ernest Hemingway’s funeral who is not a member of the family. After the funeral, Mary asks Valerie to accompany her to Cuba to sort out roomfuls of documents. The pair end up smuggling four trunks full of correspondence back to the United States and leaving the estate to the newly formed government of Fidel Castro.At the funeral, in the small town of Ketchum, Idaho, Valerie befriends Greg, Ernest’s shy, retiring youngest son of whom Ernest had rarely ever spoken. They fall in love and marry. The last third of the book relates Greg’s unbalanced psychological state, his inability to hold down a regular job and his eventual decline. Valerie begins noticing that items of her clothing are missing with increasing regularity, and when she walks in on Greg admiring himself as a woman she knows that something is very, very wrong. They seperate, Greg eventually dies in a prison cell and the reader is left wondering how much influence the expectations of a celebrated father had on his decline and fall.Running with the Bulls – My Years with the Hemingways will be read and enjoyed by any admirer of Ernest Hemingway. Published relatively recently, we should be glad that it was written at all. But a book of this quality - allowing such an insight into one of the great lions of American literature - is never too late.

  • By Joanna on 28 July 2013

    Fantastic insight to the last years of Hemingway and how the ties with the Hemingway family lasted a lifetime.Excellent and extremely well written. Had me totally captivated.

  • By lowlander on 24 October 2016

    Insightful about the hemingway family but needs some reading between the lines?


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