Tag Archives: Chicago

Happy 115th Birthday, Hemingway!

21 Jul

Ernest_Hemingway_Kenya_safari_1954Ernest Hemingway on safari, Kenya, 1954, via the JFK Library

 

That irascible author Ernest Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois. One of my friends, a fellow Scrippsie, actually took me to visit his birth home a number of years ago when I visited her in Chicago, and it’s an impressive house.

Hemingway lived quite the life! He was an ambulance driver in World War I, he reported on the Spanish Civil War, he married four times, he had a whole lotta cats, and he traveled and lived all over the world.

There’s even a planet named after him.

The author of sparsely worded novels, Hemingway wrote The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Old Man and the Sea, and other highly regarded works of literature.

While in Paris, Hemingway hung out with other expatriate writers. As Gertrude Stein put it, they were a Lost Generation. Hemingway quoted her in The Sun Also Rises.

It was this Lost Generation that inspired Jack Kerouac to come up with the term Beat Generation when he was talking with John Clellon Holmes one day. And Hollywood has taken notice.

Advertisements

The Story of Turning My Thesis In

29 May

You already saw the picture from my reading, but here’s the story of completing my theses.  Oh and what an adventure it was.

One of my best friends was getting married on the Sunday before my thesis was due (why don’t people plan their lives around my writing schedule?!) so I had to put the finishing touches on it, print it out, and get it professionally bound that Saturday.  Well, let me tell you, finding a company that does vello binding is not as easy as it sounds even in New York City, where most things are at your fingertips.  I was rushing around New York, being turned down by one place after the next.  Finally, I found a FedEx in Chelsea that could do it, but they were so packed that they told me to drop off the manuscript and then they’d call me back once it had been printed on high-quality paper and bound.  I don’t live in that area so of course that meant lots of time traveling back and forth on the subway.  But the guy who helped me had the name of one of literature’s most fascinating characters and was so helpful, giving me special coupons for when the time comes to mail my manuscript off to publishers.

It felt kind of anticlimactic turning my thesis in on Monday.  I ran down to the Writing Program’s office on my lunch break and thought the office would be abuzz with friends from my workshops.  I only ran into one other person turning her thesis in at the same time as me.  I was in and out pretty quickly, after indulging in a piece of delicious chocolate from the office’s basket as my reward.

Since I was in the area I decided to go to Argo Tea.  One of the women from the writing program introduced the Chicago-founded company to me, and I’m officially obsessed with their Red Velvet Tea.  It is insane how delicious that tea is.

That evening I saw a bunch of writers from my graduating class post that they had submitted their theses.  It’s so exciting!  There were so many great writers in the program, and I can’t wait to see their theses turned into books.