Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost

Focusing on the years 1934 to 1961—from Ernest Hemingway’s pinnacle as the reigning monarch of American letters until his suicide — a new book by Paul Hendrickson, entitled Hemingway's Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost, traces the writer’s exultations and despair around the one constant in his life during this time: his beloved boat, Pilar.  We follow him from Key West to Paris, to New York, Africa, Cuba, and finally Idaho, as he wrestles with his best angels and worst demons. Whenever he could, he returned to his beloved fishing cruiser, to exult in the sea, to fight the biggest fish he could find, to drink, to entertain celebrities and friends and seduce women, to be with his children. But as he began to succumb to the diseases of fame, we see that Pilar was also where he cursed his critics, saw marriages and friendships dissolve, and tried, in vain, to escape his increasingly diminished capacities. "All things truly wicked start from innocence," E.H.