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Book News: Lost Hemingway Satire Will Finally Be Published

Filed by KOSU News in Art & Life.
September 18, 2013

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

A satiric short story by Ernest Hemingway, “My Life in the Bull Ring with Donald Ogden Stewart,” will be published in the next issue of Harper’s and in Hemingway’s collected letters. After the story was discovered among the writer Donald Ogden Stewart’s letters, Vanity Fair, which had rejected the story in the 1920s, requested permission to reprint it — only to be rejected by Hemingway’s estate. Hemingway’s son, Patrick, told the Independent, “I’m not a great fan of Vanity Fair. It’s a sort of luxury thinker’s magazine — for people who get their satisfaction out of driving a Jaguar instead of a Mini.” The story is based on a real incident when Ogden Stewart apparently found himself in a bull fight in Spain. According to a 2004 New York Times article, Stewart was not a fan of the story, writing in his autobiography, “When he had sent me a ‘funny’ piece about myself to submit to Vanity Fair, I had decided that written humor was not his dish and had done nothing about it.” It’s unclear whether Ogden Stewart changed his mind or Hemingway submitted it himself.

Vikram Seth has found a new publisher for his novel A Suitable Girl, the sequel to his A Suitable Boy. The novel will be published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson, an imprint of Orion, in 2016. Seth broke with Penguin this summer after the publishing house threatened to sue him for not turning in his manuscript on time.

Marilynne Robinson speaks to her former student Thessaly La Force about the writing mind: “Things come to mind. Your mind makes selections — this deeper mind — on other terms than your front-office mind. You will remember that once, in some time, in some place, you saw a person standing alone, and their posture suggested to you an enormous narrative around them. And you never spoke to them, you don’t know them, you were never within ten feet of them. But at the same time, you discover that your mind privileges them over something like the Tour d’Eiffel.”

Rainbow Rowell talks to The Toast about finding out that parents in the Minneapolis area had asked that her YA novel Eleanor & Park be removed from library shelves: “Eleanor & Park isn’t some dystopian fantasy about a world where teenagers swear and are cruel to each other, and some kids have terrible parents. Teenagers swear and are cruel to each other. Some kids have terrible parents. Some girls have terrible stepdads who shout profanity at them and call them sluts — and some of those girls still manage to rise above it. When these people call Eleanor & Park an obscene story, I feel like they’re saying that rising above your situation isn’t possible. That if you grow up in an ugly situation, your story isn’t even fit for good people’s ears. That ugly things cancel out everything beautiful.” (Also worth reading at The Toast: “A Partial But By No Means Exhaustive List of Egg References in the Works of P.G. Wodehouse.”)

[Copyright 2013 NPR]

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