I’m a sucker for this sun-licked wrap-around porch.
A few pieces of Hemingway’s private library. Most of his books reside in Cuba.
A portable typewriter, like those Hemingway might have taken on his adventures.
A snapshot of Hemingway’s house, way back when.
Note the base of this fountain: a urinal Hemingway acquired from a local Key West bar.
Entrance to Hemingway’s house.
A movie featuring Hemingway and wife no. 3, American novelist, travel writing, and journalist Martha Gellhorn.
A treatise on the Iceberg Theory.
Love these posters for the movie adaptations of Hemingway’s novels.
Hemingway at the helm.
A tribute to one of Hemingway’s favorite pursuits, discovered in Key West: sport fishing.
Hemingway’s home was one of the first in the Florida Keys to have running water.
This pool, upon completion in 1938, cost $20,000 in the currency of the day. (Or, approximately $350,000 today.) It was the only in-ground pool within 100 miles when built, and was dug out of the solid coral that comprises the island.
Hemingway’s house is famous for its polydactyl cats. Not all of the approximately 50 cats now resident there have manifested this gene, but all are carriers.
A wall o’ the four wives. A somewhat unsettling group of portraits, perhaps.
A tribute to Hemingway’s love for big game hunting.
“The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” one of the stories inspired by Hemingway’s hunting expeditions.
A snapshot of Hemingway’s writing room above the carriage house (and the iron grate that protects the room from wayward tourists).
As always, a nod to Hemingway house’s horde of feline residents.
Stairs up to Hemingway’s writing hideaway.
Another shot of Hemingway’s writing getaway. Note to nods to his passions: writing, books, fishing, and big game hunting.
Cat standing guard over Hemingway’s writing room.
Hemingway’s bed, custom-made to accommodate his large size. The headboard is an antique Spanish gate.
Hubby and me, proving we were there.
In my last post, I mentioned that I was recently in Key West, soaking up the sea and much longed-for time with family. I got to swim in turquoise waters, stuff myself silly with seafood, and wander streets lined with tropical trees and homes that, to my untrained eye, blended the beach architecture of my childhood with southern-Victorian and Spanish styles.
But of course, no writer’s visit to Key West would be complete without a stop at one house in particular: The Hemingway Home and Museum.
I’m always a bit embarrassed to admit this–after all, I have a Masters in English and American literature–but I haven’t actually read all that much Hemingway. I did read his “Hills like White Elephants,” a short story that exemplifies Hemingway’s Iceberg Theory (the concept of writing around a particular subject–here abortion–without ever explicitly naming it). But my research emphasis in my degree was Romantic, Victorian, and Post-Colonial British literature, and Early American and 19th-century literature. Chronologically-speaking, Hemingway came a little too late for me.
But a few years ago, I picked up Paula McLain’s historical, Hemingway-themed novel, The Paris Wife. Obviously, this book is A) fiction (and therefore, a not-necessarily-rigidly-factual interpretation of history) and B) more focused on Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley Richardson, than Hemingway himself.
Continue reading “Key West: Hangin’ with Hemingway”
When this greets you before you even step inside the shop, you know you’ve found a gem.
Hand-scrawled notes guide the bibliophile aright.
One of Key West Island Bookstore’s specialities: local authors.
Special section on Florida.
Special section on nearby Cuba.
Considering my current work on a Prohibition era novel, this purchase was a hard one to pass up.
One of those bookish nooks perfect for whiling away an afternoon.
The toughest part about going book shopping: narrowing down your choices.
Gorgeous vintage type-writer.
Although this one didn’t make it home with me, I’ll be adding it to my to-read list.
The final selection for purchase by me and husband.
Love the book cover art.
What would any Key West bookstore be without a tribute to former island resident, Ernest Hemingway.
Hydrophile that I am, I loved this curation of ocean-themed books.
Book-themed candles! Love this genius idea!
Couldn’t have said it better myself.
You may have noticed my blog has been quiet of late. Part of this is a result of busy months at work. But the last few weeks of silence have been for the best of reasons.
I find coming home to the U.S. after living overseas is like a big gulp of oxygen after holding your breath underwater. It’s not that Suriname is such a dreadful place to live. It just feels so good to be home.
This particular trip back was a whirlwind: a day in Houston, a weekend jaunt to the Midwest, down to Key West to meet my family on their vacation, a few more days in various Texas locales, then a week in my hometown on the Texas Gulf Coast (and surfing!).
With all that travel time, I wasn’t going to be caught without a book in my hand.
So one night in Key West, while my dad and twin brothers were being awesome and doing a night dive around an old shipwreck (their tales of octopus, shark, and fish sightings have made me determined to finally get my scuba certification), I was cheerily getting my nerd on at a local bookstore. Continue reading “All Key-ed Up”