Posts Tagged ‘Mary Hemingway’

Comment on Timothy Christian’s biography of Mary Welsh Hemingway

Posted on: August 11th, 2022 by Wayne Fraser No Comments

I appreciated Timothy Christian’s biography of Mary Welsh Hemingway, Hemingway’s Widow. It paints a balanced portrait of her and of her marriage with Ernest Hemingway, the joys and sorrows thereof.

In his book Christian comments on Mary’s “frustration with traditional scholars” (p. 407), and in the recent Hemingway Newsletter interview, hopes “that my book will lead to further investigation into Mary’s role in Ernest’s literature.”

Christian mentions Mary’s presentation to a symposium at the University of Alabama in 1976, but misses Mary’s key contribution to Hemingway scholarship which began at that conference. After she lamented that scholars did not explore Hemingway as reader, Dr. James D. Brasch and Dr. Joseph Sigman of McMaster University, received her blessings and co-operation for the cataloguing of the books at the Finca, outside Havana, personally writing to Castro for his permission for them to do so. The results of their efforts produced the invaluable compilation of Hemingway’s books which highlights to academics the influence of Hemingway’s reading on his writing.

In the preface to their book, Hemingway’s Library, Brasch and Sigman pay tribute to Mary’s “inspiration from the inception of this project. In fact, her comments set the wheels in motion. She submitted to hours and hours of interviews and telephone conversations, provided contacts, supplied letters of introduction, corresponded with us and generally supported and promoted our project.”

Further description of Brasch and Sigman’s crucial meeting with Mary during the 1976 Alabama conference and their work on the bibliography can be found in my article on this webpage:

eBook version of Hemingway’s Island

Posted on: September 19th, 2012 by Wayne Fraser No Comments

Very happy to announce that Hemingway’s Island is now available in eBook format, available at the moment at

Soon it will be available at iBookstore and Barnes and Noble NOOK bookstore and other retail channels. We’ll keep you posted.


Posted on: September 12th, 2012 by Eleanor Johnston No Comments

Contest Time

Who will be the first person to correctly identify the title of the Hemingway short story that Mary quotes in each chapter she narrates in Hemingway’s Island? Reply to this posting by sending only the story title and your name. The first person to identify this story will receive the honors and accolades of his/her peers, and the chance to enter in the next Contest (along with everyone else).

Hemingway sighting

Posted on: September 11th, 2012 by Wayne Fraser No Comments

At a presentation about our novel, Hemingway’s Island, we met a most interesting man, Dr. David Goicoechea, of Ketchum, Idaho (Professor Emeritus, Department of Philosophy, Brock University, St. Catharine’s, Ontario, Canada)
During the Q&A, David explained that Hemingway came to Ketchum, to the Sun Valley Lodge, the same year that David was born, 1938. He saw Hemingway lots of times over the years, for Ketchum is a small place and Hemingway was often around. David recalled meeting Hemingway in the Christiana Restaurant in the fall of 1960, and he made the observation that Hemingway in his last year was affable and sociable.
Along with these personal encounters was David’s claim that his brother was one of the two acolytes at Hemingway’s funeral. It was a Roman Catholic funeral Mass and the young lad had therefore eaten no breakfast; consequently, he fainted into the flower bed. If you google the image of Hemingway’s funeral, you can see that one of the acolytes was supported by the man beside him.
Finally, David claimed that his father, one of the town garbage men, was asked by Mary Hemingway to come to the Topping House to help clean up the blood and mess from Hemingway’s suicide.
What I find most fascinating about all these details is that I do not recall reading about the Goicoechea family in the Hemingway biographies. David is a most engaging man, a bit of a raconteur who writes his own stories and memoirs. We found David’s story intriguing and want to share his family’s Hemingway connection here on our blog.