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Ernest Hemingway's Birthplace

Ernest Hemingway's Birthplace

Ernest Hemingway's Birthplace

In 2011 I took a group of students to study fashion for two weeks in Paris, France. Before I left, a colleague of mine suggested I take a copy of A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway and read it while I was in Paris. To date, this is one of my all-time favorite and most memorable reading experiences.

Reading A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway at the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, France

Reading A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway at the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, France

So when I moved to Chicago, visiting Ernest Hemingway's birthplace was high on my list of things to do. Over a year after moving here, I finally got my chance. Located in Oak Park, IL, the home where Ernest Hemingway was born was built by his maternal grandparents in the Queen Ann style. He was born in the second floor master bedroom (well, one of them...the man and wife slept in separate bedrooms) on July 21, 1899.

Ashley Hasty at Ernest Hemingway's birthplace in Oak Park, IL

Ashley Hasty at Ernest Hemingway's birthplace in Oak Park, IL

According to our tour guide, Ernest's family knew he would become a famous writer since he was a young boy telling stories over the dinner table and writing short stories for school. Ernest Hemingway was largely self-taught, as he did not pursue education beyond high school. Ernest Hemingway's Birthplace is open to the public Wednesday - Friday: 1 - 5 p.m., Saturday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday: 1-5 p.m. (Check their website before you go, just to be sure they're open!) 

The room where Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, IL

The room where Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, IL

3 Books to Read About (or by) Ernest Hemingway:

In all, Ernest Hemingway wrote at least 29 books and there have been many more written about him. I don't know about you, but a list that long is a bit overwhelming. So here are two tried and true and one that caught my fancy:

1.

The Paris Wife
$9.19
By Paula McLain

Paula McLain is an incredible author who brings to life historical figures you may not be too familiar with. The Paris Wife is about Hadley, Ernest Hemingway's first of four wives (and the one that accompanied him during his time in Paris when he was consorting with the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein. Another favorite by Paula McLain is Circling the Sun about Beryl Markham, a record-setting aviator.

2.

A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition
$8.09
By Ernest Hemingway

I've heard mixed reviews about this book. Personally, I adored it. Perhaps it is because I was reading it in Paris (everything is amazing in Paris, am I right?) I especially loved stumbling across places significant to Hemingway such as La Closerie des Lilas where Hemingway is said to have written The Sun Also Rises. It may have been one of those "right book, right time" situations. But regardless, this book had a strong impact on me and I hope it will do the same for you.

Hemingway's Girl
$8.15
By Erika Robuck

I always like to include a book I haven't yet read, as a way to share with you books that I'm interested in reading (maybe we can read them together??) This book is about Mariella Bennet who was hired as a maid by Hemingway's second wife, Pauline. (If you're interested in all of Hemingway's wives, you might be interested in Mrs. Hemingway by Naomi Wood.) Of course she attracts the attention of Ernest Hemingway (what pretty girl didn't?) but she also attracts Gavin Murray, a WWI veteran currently working on the Overseas Highway. 

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