Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Though he’s known best for his love of
writing, wives, and world traveling—and yes, fine, the booze—Ernest
Hemingway was so much more: a failed KGB spy, a self-proclaimed
“liberator” of the Paris Ritz after the Nazi occupation, a stubborn
author (he once responded to an editorial note from F. Scott Fitzgerald
with three words: “Kiss my ass”), a plane crash survivor (it’s true—–the
whole world thought he was dead!), and a brilliant, troubled man whose
demons drove and eventually destroyed him. As Off the Shelf’s resident
Lost-Generation specialist, it’s my duty to celebrate this, Papa’s 118th
birthday (which I affectionately call “Heming-day”—trademark!) with a
list of essential reading for any fan of this American icon.