Advance praise and reviews for Hemingway’s Widow


From the New York Times

Newly Published, From Putin’s Russia to Pinball

Feb. 25, 2022

HEMINGWAY’S WIDOW: The Life and Legacy of Mary Welsh Hemingway, by Timothy Christian. (Pegasus, $35.) This portrait of Mary Welsh Hemingway documents her first encounter with Ernest Hemingway while she was working as a wartime correspondent and chronicles their tumultuous relationship, travels around the world and her life after Hemingway’s suicide.

From The Arts Fuse

“We now have a book that virtually closes the circle on Hemingway’s women, a biography that will be treasured by the author’s fans and scholars. Scenes of London during World War II are exciting and interesting as we see Mary grow to become a respected reporter, no mean task for a woman at that time. Christian presents a vivid picture, plunging the reader into their daily life, the visits from friends and frenemies, Ernest’s work on The Old Man and the Sea and Mary’s assistance. We feel Mary’s claustrophobia when Ernest becomes cruel and abusive, we are privy to their sexual games, we revel in their travels to Africa and Europe, we wince watching Mary’s unbelievable patience when Ernest ‘falls in love’ with an Italian woman young enough to be his grandchild.”—Roberta Silman, The Arts Fuse

From A Life in Biography By Carl Rollyson

A “fascinating” interview by Carl Rollyson, “the Dean of American biographers,” with Timothy Christian, the author of Hemingway’s Widow

“Illuminating. I cannot imagine any biographer navigating these waters better than Timothy Christian has done in these pages. And I hope every student of Hemingway will pay close attention and adjust accordingly their views of Carlos Baker’s biography of Hemingway. Again, I say this book is a stunning achievement. It is the custom to say that this volume belongs on the bookshelf of every scholar and student and fan of Hemingway. And it does. This includes Hemingway aficionados, who will appreciate Timothy Christian’s superb skills in biography. This is the Hemingway book we’ve all been waiting for so long.”—H.R. Stoneback,  Distinguished Professor Emeritus The State University of New York, President (past): The Ernest Hemingway Foundation & Society

“Timothy Christian has spent years researching Mary’s life across continents and every archive, including troves of information that no one else has tapped. To this task, he brought a sympathetic attachment to the woman behind the Hemingway myth. He has turned up truly fresh and significant information about Mary herself and her life before Ernest, about the courtship and sexual predilections of the couple, and about Ernest’s suicide. While to some extent this story will compromise the myth of the great macho man that was important to Hemingway—a myth that Mary helped craft and maintain—it will ultimately provide a fuller understanding of an American icon and the lives he touched. Refreshingly, Christian does not view Mary as a victim, despite Ernest’s callous and violent treatment of the talented journalist who spent her prime years with the aging and difficult master. Christian gives us Mary, a tiny and fearless dynamo, a woman of skill and heart, calculation and vulnerability, who knew exactly what she was getting into when she married Ernest—and played her hands as best as she could even as her choices narrowed.”—Carol Sklenicka, biographer of Raymond Carver and Alice Adams

“This compelling book transported me back to Hemingway’s world, except this time his fourth and last wife Mary was guiding the way. Hemingway scholars will appreciate the detail, including some new revelations, and the fresh analysis ofher life and legacy. Bottom line: an important book that fills a long-standing gap. A pleasure to read.” —NICK REYNOLDS, author of the New York Times bestseller Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy: Ernest Hemingway’s Secret Adventures, 1935-1961

“Sixty years after Hemingway’s death, Christian sets the record straight regarding Mary Hemingway’s complex relationship with Hemingway and his art during and after his final years.  Often stereotyped as accepting a sometimes abusive relationship, Mary comes powerfully to life in this intricately nuanced and mesmerizing biographical tour de force.  Honest, unafraid and compelling, Christian finally gives us the true gen.”– Linda Patterson Miller, Author of ‘Letters from the Lost Generation’ and Head of the Editorial Board, The Hemingway Letters Project

“Living with Hemingway could be downright treacherous, as Mary Welsh would learn even before becoming the great writer’s fourth and last wife. In this fast-paced, drama-packed, and full-bodied biography, Christian has given us the absolute true gen of a woman who sacrificed her own identity while navigating a partnership forged by careless love and deep darkness.”—STEVE PAUL, author of Hemingway at Eighteen

“Bravo to Tim Christian for creating a portrait of my friend Mary Hemingway that at last shows her for the complex person she was. This is a story that needed to be told and we are fortunate that Tim Christian has told it so frankly, so sympathetically, and so compellingly.”—SUSAN BUCKLEY, author of Eating with Peter

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