I bring my experience in storytelling and fact-finding to Hemingway’s Widow. I traveled so I could authentically describe the places where Mary and Ernest lived or visited: London, Paris, Pamplona, Madrid, St. Jean de Luz, Biarritz, Venice, Torcello, Fossalto de Piave, Cortina, Key West, Havana, Finca Vigia, Cojimar, Ketchum, Walker, and Bemidji.
I studied the Hemingway papers, including Mary’s diaries, journals, and correspondence at the JFK Presidential Library in Boston, the files of Alfred Rice at the New York Public Library, and the materials held at the Ketchum Comunity Library. I interviewed Professor H.R. Stoneback about his memories of Mary, Valerie Hemingway, about her experiences as Ernest’s secretary, and as Mary’s assistant after Ernest’s death. Patrick Hemingway shared valuable insights into Mary’s story, and Susan Buckley helped me understand Mary’s life in New York.
I found my law background helpful as I examined several legal issues: the investigation to determine if Hemingway should be court-martialed; the marriage, divorce, and estate laws in Cuba at the time of Mary’s wedding; the signing of Ernest’s will and the letter of instructions; and Mary’s efforts to stop the publication of Hotchner’s Papa Hemingway. I consider these issues straightforwardly to make them understandable to the lay-person.