Cover image for Hunting with Hemingway : based on the stories of Leicester Hemingway
Hunting with Hemingway : based on the stories of Leicester Hemingway
Hemingway, Hilary.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Riverhead Books, [2000]

Physical Description:
316 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3515.E37 Z6172 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Fifteen years after her father's death, Hilary Hemingway received her curious inheritance. It was an audio-cassette filled with the voice of her father telling outrageous stories about his hunting expeditions with his famous older brother, Ernest Hemingway. In this mesmerizing book, Hilary transcribes these stories, revealing the bond between two larger-than-life brothers -- and tells of her own quest to make peace with the painful parts of the Hemingway legacy.

Author Notes

Hilary Hemingway , an award-winning screenwriter and a writer for The Miami Herald, Interview , and Harper's Bazaar , is the executive director of the International Hemingway Festival.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

This is a disappointing narrative based on audiotaped accounts left by Hemingway's younger brother Leicester (himself a writer overshadowed by Ernest) and revealed here by Leicester's daughter. These tales, ostensibly related by Leicester to an anonymous professor researching the Hemingway mystique, are said to be ones "Papa never made public." The death-defying feats by Leicester and Ernest in Africa include escaping from a pack of man-eating wild dogs, killing a cobra that hovers inches from Leicester's head, even planting explosives on Nazi U-boats. Through listening to these tapes, an epiphany comes to Hilary about her father, who, like Ernest and his father before him, committed suicide: "Dad's stories are all that's important.... The stories are for you, for me, for everyone, to know my Dad as he really was, a man who had the courage to love life." Never before able to forgive his suicide, Hilary "for the first time... could mourn my father." The entire work seems apocryphal, which is forgivable; and the adventure stories themselves, while predictably misogynist, are relatively absorbing, but two factors ruin the integrity of this work. First is the mocking portrayal of the literature professor on the tape: he seems to have no manners, no real life experience and ridiculously symbolic interpretations of Hemingway stories. The stereotype is overdone to the point that few readers will sympathize with Hilary's father, a man who is hostile to even the most basic questions about himself and his brother. Second, while some of the information documented is important for anyone wishing to learn more about Hemingway's family, Hilary's frame narrative about her discovery of the tapes is so insipidly written that it reads like a work of young adult fiction. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This book permanently settles the debate of whether or not artistic talent is genetic. Clearly it¡s not. Hilary, niece of you-know-who, here offers a cache of unknown hunting adventures of her celebrated uncle and his kid brother (her father), Leicester, which she claims were bequeathed to her on an audio tape of her dad relating them to an anonymous professor¢a badly clichEd milquetoast scholar (could this be any more of a phony set-up?). While Ernest plays a large role, Leicester, a.k.a. the Baron,Œ is the central figure. Besides writing and suicide, rudeness must also be a Hemingway brothers¡ trait, as Leicester emerges as boorish and overbearing. Though the author¡s note suggests that these tales should be taken in a spirit of playfulness,Œ most are so over the top that they should be regarded as fiction, especially since at the book¡s climax the author dumps the supposed tape into the ocean, conveniently eliminating the evidence. Though one can sympathize with Hilary¡s making peace with her father¡s suicide after hearing his stories, this volume seems little more than another Hemingway cashing in on the name. Not recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/1/00.]¢Michael Rogers, Library JournalŒ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.