Hemingway named her Pilar after a shrine in a Spanish village where he’d watched bullfights in his younger days. Pilar represented everything he loved, and she was the only female he was ever faithful to. For the last twenty-seven years of his life Pilar was Hemingway’s Boat (Knopf, $30), and she was no gentlemanly yacht, but a virile powerboat on which he could be cock of the bridge. Hemingway was also a passionate fisherman, hunter of German subs, and composer of prize-winning stories, as well as a failed father to his three scarred sons and wayward husband to his four wives. He brought his own life of early creative promise to a sad and self-destructive end. “His life, like his boat, beat against so many crosscurrents,” writes Paul Hendrickson, author of the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning Sons of Mississippi in this beautiful and unconventional biography of Hemingway.
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