Besides being a fantastic writer and the Noble Prize in Literature winner, Ernest Hemingway was an expat, traveller and a man with a severe case of wanderlust. Many of his books are reflecting events from his life, happening during his travels or life abroad. However, this book is an ode to the city, people he met while living there, and the historical time he lived in. So here it is, Culture Tourist Book Review: Ernest Hemingway and his A Moveable Feast.
Ernest Hemingway: A Moveable Feast Review
Published posthumously in 1964, in his memoir A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway writes about his life in Paris during the 1920s.
If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.
Ernest Hemingway in Paris
In 1918 young Hemingway joined the Redd Cross and saw the horrors of war. He was stationed at the Italian front, where he was severely wounded.
After returning home to the US, he got a job as a journalist at the Toronto Star. Around the same time, he met his future wife, Hadley. A couple got married and moved to Paris. In A Moveable Feast, Hemingway writes about his life in Paris.
Hemingway worked from there as a correspondent journalist for the same newspaper. During that time, he also started pursuing his career as a writer (collection of short stories Men without Women, novel The Sun also Rises).
They lived in the Latin Quarter (74 rue du Cardinal Lemoine). However, after they got a son, a couple moved to a new apartment at rue Notre-Dame des Champs. During his life in Paris, Ernest Hemingway met many people from the city’s cultural life, such as painter Pablo Picasso. He also became friend with numerous American expats and member of the Lost Generation living in Paris during that time.
In his memoir, he’s mentioning F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein. It was pretty interesting to read a chapter in which he’s mentioning Sylvia Beach. She was an owner of the iconic bookstore in Paris, Shakespeare and Company. It was where I bought my copy of Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast.
TIP: Shakespeare and Company can stamp your book, so you’ll have a nice memory of a place where you bought it.
Why should you read Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast
Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast is a book that portrays Paris in one of the most beautiful ways. It’s a must-read for anyone in love with that city. The book consists of twenty chapters, and each of them could be read as a stand-alone piece.
The author mentions neighbourhoods, streets, sites and restaurants that could still be found in the city. It’s so lovely to read how, for example, he’s writing in one of the cafes on Place Saint-Michel at the beginning of the book. Reading his description about what he sees from the window is immediately transferring you there.
Reading this book around your trip to Paris is going to make it slower and more meaningful. Walking the streets of Paris in the footsteps of a famous writer who lived there in the 1920s will make it completely different.
Where can you get the book?
Or you can do as I did, and buy it at the Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris.
Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast is a great book portraying the city, its residents and the internal struggle of a young writer. Hopefully, this book review will encourage you to read it and travel back to Paris of the 1920s that way.