Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Just Write: Booktalk 2

[Ask your teen readers which books they have read by Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises; A Farewell to Arms; For Whom the Bell Tells; The Old Man and the Sea, etc.]

What do you think of when you think of the typical writer? [Get a few responses.] Ernest Hemingway probably wasn’t like any of those. He loved to drink, to hunt, to go on safaris, to fight, and to watch bullfights. Basically, he was a restless adrenaline junkie. He loved women and was married four times. He would not mince words, either in real life or in his writing; in fact, he could be really mean to his friends and even to his family. He believed in getting right to the point and to living life to the fullest. [Show photograph on p.4: Hemingway with the huge tuna]. Hemingway had to be the best at everything: whether it was killing large game in Africa, catching the largest fish, writing the best novel, or winning an argument. This book gives a good mix of photos, stories, and facts about Hemingway’s life. Even though Hemingway was and is a major success, he struggled with alcohol and depression and failures. Reading about his life may evoke different responses from you – the end of his life, which ended in suicide, was pretty sad. And yet he is one of America’s greatest writers. His life was fascinating and enigmatic. Read about it in Ernest Hemingway: A Writer’s Life by Catherine Reef.

Ernest Hemingway: A Writer’s Life by Catherine Reef. 183 p. Clarion, 2009. Booktalk to 8th grade and above.

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