The below taken from the author's own website for The Paris Wife. I don't think it gives anything away and supports why I so enjoyed the book- its Historical Fiction- YES!
PAULA McLAIN ON FACT vs. FICTION IN THE PARIS WIFE
In Ernest Hemingway's introduction to his memoir, A Moveable Feast, he writes, "If the reader prefers, this book may be regarded as fiction. But there is always the chance that such a book of fiction may throw some light on what has been written as fact." I'm hoping my novel will work to illuminate not just the facts of Ernest and Hadley's years in Paris, but the essence of that time and of their profound connection by weaving both the fully imagined and undeniably real.
When I began to research my book, beginning with biographies of Hemingway and Hadley, and with their delicious correspondence, I knew the actual story of the Hemingway's marriage was near perfect; it was a ready-made novel, ripe for the picking. I didn't have to invent a plot for them, nor did I want to. My work would be to use the framework of historical documentation to push into these characters' hearts and minds, discovering their motivations, their deepest wishes.
There is more within the website for The Paris Wife. I recommend the site after you are done with the book.
The next book I want to highlight should follow the above because reading the above encouraged me to seek this book out and read it. I had been wanting to read some of Hemingway's books for awhile (I read Farewell to Arms in high school, but had not read any of his others). So due to the above taking place when he wrote The Sun Also Rises that was only sensible to follow The Paris Wife.
Here is Wiki's take on the book:
The Sun Also Rises is a 1926 novel written by American author Ernest Hemingway about a group of American and British expatriates who travel from Paris to theFestival of San Fermín in Pamplona to watch the running of the bulls and the bullfights. An early and enduring modernist novel, it received mixed reviews upon publication. Hemingway biographer Jeffrey Meyers writes that it is "recognized as Hemingway's greatest work", and Hemingway scholar Linda Wagner-Martin calls it his most important novel. The novel was published in the United States in October 1926 by the publishing house Scribner's. A year later, the London publishing house Jonathan Cape published the novel with the title of Fiesta. Since then it has been continuously in print.
My take is that a good book is easy enough to read, but yet hard at the same time. Ernest Hemingway's writing is to the point and you can't skip over words/sentences because you'll miss the meat of the story, because all of it is the meat. There is no fluff. It is well written, concise and to the point. I really enjoyed reading this book after I listened to The Paris Wife because so much of that book takes place where he sets Sun. I also love that the book is dedicated to Hadley and their son- who are in The Paris Wife. I think I'll likely next read Moveable Feast to follow-up The Paris Wife, Sun Also Rises, because this book takes place during his time in Paris with Hadley.
The next book is completely different Native Guard. It is a poetry book by Natasha Trethewey. It won her the Pulitzer prize for poetry.
The following is the inside jacket cover of the book I borrowed.
Winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, Natasha Trethewey's elegiac Native Guard is a deeply personal volume that brings together two legacies of the Deep South.
The title of the collection refers to the Louisiana Native Guards, a black regiment whose role in the Civil War has been largely overlooked by history. As a child in Gulport, Mississippi, Trethewey could gaze across the water to the fort on Ship Island where Confederate captives once were guarded by black soldiers serving the Union cause. The racial legacy of the South touched Trethewey's life on a much more immediate level too. Many of the poems in Native Guard pay loving tribute to her mother, whose marriage to a white man was illegal in her native Mississippi in 1960s. years after her mother's tragic death, Trethewey reclaims her memory, just as she reclaims the voices of the black soldiers whose service has been all but forgotten.
I'm not a poetry reader, but have been trying to pick up poetry when at the library and force myself into reading the poems slowly so I can feel like I'm getting the point. That is generally what I've struggled with in poetry. Sometime it is just to abstract for me. Natasha's poems were not abstract and I felt like I was reading short stories when reading her lines of poetry. The book I borrowed also came with a CD with Natasha reading some of the poems. I haven't listened yet, but am looking forward to listening as I drive to work next week- think it will be a good way to start the day.
Last month I read The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor. However, I didn't read all of the stories within this work. I read a few of them and would encourage anyone who hasn't read her work to try it out. I wanted to read some of her work because I kept on "running into her". Not literally, but in different books or articles I had read. I had never read any of her works so thought it was a sign that I should find out who this Flannery was. The below is a brief description from Amazon about this fascinating lady.
About the Author
Flannery O'Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1925. When she died at the age of thirty-nine, America lost one of its most gifted writers at the height of her powers. O’Connor wrote two novels,Wise Blood (1952) and The Violent Bear It Away (1960), and two story collections, A Good Man Is Hard to Find (1955) and Everything That Rises Must Converge (1964). Her Complete Stories, published posthumously in 1972, won the National Book Award that year, and in a 2009 online poll it was voted as the best book to have won the award in the contest’s 60-year history. Her essays were published inMystery and Manners (1969) and her letters in The Habit of Being (1979). In 1988 the Library of America published her Collected Works; she was the first postwar writer to be so honored. O’Connor was educated at the Georgia State College for Women, studied writing at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and wrote much of Wise Blood at the Yaddo artists’ colony in upstate New York. She lived most of her adult life on her family’s ancestral farm, Andalusia, outside Milledgeville, Georgia.
Here is the Table of Contents and I've tried to highlight the one's I read.