Ernest Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast” – a book review

I loved this book so much!!!

I don’t know how I had not heard this book mentioned before – it is simply exquisite.

A Moveable Feast is Hemingway’s memoir of the time he spent in the Paris in the 1920s. Hemingway had just given his job as a journalist to pursue a career in writing fiction. He was young, recently married and ambitious. This memoir is his description of “ how Paris was in the early days when we were very poor and very happy.”

The book was written by Hemingway in the last years of his life – and is partially a product of his nostalgia for youth as well as his love-letter to Paris. If you have visited Paris recently or are planning to do so, you will cherish it especially.

But the importance of this memoir goes beyond the person and the place. Hemingway’s Paris is a literary Paris, which orbits around the Shakespeare and Company bookshop ran by Sylvia Beach. To appreciate A Moveable Feast fully it is best to have a semi-working knowledge of the modernists: James Joyce, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein and Francis Scott Fitgerald. It’s exhilarating to read Hemingway’s descriptions of their interactions with each other – and I couldn’t stop myself laughing when I was listening to Hemingway’s description of Scott Fitzgerald’s hypochondria. I was also impressed by Hemingway’s love for cats – and his description of how he and his wife let their cat guard their baby son, Bumby, in his cradle.

For all lovers of literature and of Paris – an absolute must read. I may have listened to it as an audiobook, but I will definitely be buying a copy.

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