True at First Light by Ernest Hemingway
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True at First Light
By Ernest Hemingway

True at First Light

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Format: Paperback

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True at First Light by Ernest Hemingway

Book Description

The book opens on the day Hemingway's close friend Pop, a legendary hunter, leaves him in charge of the camp. Tensions have heightened among the various tribes and news arrives of a potential attack on the hunters, forcing Hemingway not only to take on his new role of leader but, equally important, to assist his wife Mary in pursuing the great lion she is determined to kill before Christmas. Passionately detailing the African landscape, the excitement of the chase, and the heartfelt relationships with his African neighbours, Hemingway, a master of dramatic fiction, weaves a tale that is rich in laughter, beauty and insight. Written when Hemingway returned from his 1953 safari, and edited by his son Patrick, True At First Light is a rich blend of autobiography and fiction, a breathtaking final work from one of this century's most beloved and important writers.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099282129
ISBN-10: 0099282127
Format: Paperback
(178mm x 110mm x 21mm)
Pages: 320
Imprint: Arrow Books Ltd
Publisher: Cornerstone
Publish Date: 6-Apr-2000
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Books By Author Ernest Hemingway


Reviews

UK Kirkus Review » This is a fictionalized memoir Hemingway began after his 'second African safari' of 1953-54. He wrote 200,000 pages but the book was never finished; his son Patrick, who was also an African hunter, edited this text from his papers. The actual tour, backed by American magazines, was not a success. It ended in two plane crashes, serious injuries and reports of Hemingway's death. Happily it was followed by the award of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. In this idyllic version of these Kenyan events, the narrator - Papa, of course - is made acting game ranger of a game park. Surrounded by colonial officials, bearers and cooks, he behaves as the great white hunter in the British tradition. The chief story concerns his fourth wife, Miss Mary, 'the Memsahib', and her attempt to kill 'her' lion under her husband's guidance. A second strange tale deals with Hemingway's relationship with a Kenyan girl who wants to become part of his harem. The real strength of the book lies in its evocation of the African atmosphere and landscape, which occasions some of Hemingway's fine and famous prose, and the glimpses it offers of a lost late colonial way of life. It also shows us the idyll of hunting that sustained Hemingway toward the end of his days. Published 100 years after Hemingway's birth on 21 July 1899, the book pleasantly commemorates one of the 20th century's truly great writers. Review by MALCOLM BRADBURY Editor's note: Malcolm Bradbury is the author of several novels including Eating People Is Wrong and co-founder of the trail-blazing Creative Writing course at East Anglia. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » Ernest Hemingway never kept a journal, says his son Patrick, editor of this book from a manuscript twice its size describing life in a Kenyan safari camp in the winter of 1953-54. It can of course be called fiction, however much it seems like a journal. An autobiography, say. Little "happens." The threat of an uprising of local Africans soon dissipates. Christmas is coming ("the Birthday of the Baby Jesus") and wife Mary chooses a tree that "would make an elephant drunk for two days if he ever ate it." Daily hunting has taken place for six months in hopes of fulfilling Mary's strong wish to kill a lion, a desire both she and Hemingway say they "understand," though the reader may not. Patrick hints that it has to do with Mary's feelings about Debba, a beautiful and charming African girl whom Hemingway would like (quite seriously) to take as a second wife if law only permitted. The lion is killed, but Mary is unsatisfied, believing that Hemingway shot first (he didn't). In time, after Mary takes a trip to Nairobi, all is well again and the two embarrass the reader anew with their love-endearments ("we'll both sleep like good kittens"). The true book, though, is less in its events than in the unmonitored voice of its author. Hemingway, talking, offers a compendium of his familiar old symbols, themes, moods, feelings, details. But the voice is also like hearing the author from somewhere beyond the grave, speaking from within his own absence. "You don't ever have despair do you Ernie?" asks a friend. The answer, sad in a way it could never have been when written: "I've seen it close enough to touch it but I always turned it down." Uneven, imperfect, irritating, amusing, moving, and of treasurable importance to an understanding of this massive however flawed genius of our literature. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Miller Hemingway was born in Chicago in 1899 as the son of a doctor and the second of six children. After a stint as an ambulance driver at the Italian front, Hemingway came home to America in 1919, only to return to the battlefield - this time as a reporter on the Greco-Turkish war - in 1922. Resigning from journalism to focus on his writing instead, he moved to Paris where he renewed his earlier friendship with fellow American expatriates such as Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein. Through the years, Hemingway travelled widely and wrote avidly, becoming an internationally recognized literary master of his craft. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954, following the publication of The Old Man and the Sea. He died in 1961.

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