Unpublished letters reveal an unknown love story, the torment of Hemingway’s young muse and the resuscitation of the aging writer’s career.
Andrea di Robilant, acclaimed author of A Venetian Affair, now gives us the remarkable story of Ernest Hemingway’s love affair with both the city of Venice and the muse he found there—a vivacious eighteen-year-old who inspired the man thirty years her senior to complete his great final work. The author attributes his research experience as a journalist to his use of letters in his writings. “You know them closely, you understand what they know. Perhaps, more importantly”, he continues, “You accept them. You don’t judge them as immoral or obnoxious.” The author Di Robilant will preside at the unveiling of the book on June 6th at Rizzoli, 1133 Broadway, New York. Andrea will also be discussing his book in Washington DC at a private venue on June 5th. (Please email me to request an invitation to the exclusive book-signing and conversation with Andrea di Robilant)
Autumn in Venice: Ernest Hemingway and His Last Muse
In the fall of 1948 Hemingway and his fourth wife traveled for the first time to Venice, which Hemingway called “a goddam wonderful city.” He was a year shy of his fiftieth birthday and hadn’t published a novel in nearly a decade. At a duck shoot in the lagoon he met and fell in love with Adriana Ivancich, a striking Venetian girl just out of finishing school. Di Robilant—whose great-uncle moved in Hemingway’s revolving circle of bon vivants, aristocrats, and artists—re-creates with sparkling clarity this surprising, years-long relationship. Hemingway used Adriana as the model for Renata in Across the River and into the Trees, and continued to visit Venice to see her; when the Ivanciches traveled to Cuba, Adriana was there as he wrote The Old Man and the Sea. This illuminating story of writer and muse—which also examines the cost to a young woman of her association with a larger-than-life literary celebrity—is an intimate look at the fractured heart and changing art of Hemingway in his fifties.
The hardcover will be released and available for purchase June 5. List price $26.95 Pre-order now at $12.99 on Amazon
About the Author
ANDREA DI ROBILANT was born in Italy and educated at Columbia University, where he specialized in international affairs. He worked for decades as a journalist for Italian newspapers in America, including a stint as bureau chief of La Stampa in Washington, D.C. Though he has homes in Venice and Rome, he spends most of his time in the latter, in an apartment he shares with his wife near the MAXXI museum. He teaches four classes a week at two American universities in Rome and reserves two days for researching and writing his books.
He is the author of A Venetian Affair, Lucia: A Venetian Life in the Age of Napoleon, Irresistible North: From Venice To Greenland on the Trail of the Zen Brothers, and Chasing the Rose.
Some early reviews
“Rich with new material, some based on Italian sources, di Robilant’s lively and affecting double portrait brings a fresh perspective to the much-examined life of an all-too-human writer.” —Steve Paul, Booklist (starred review)
“A sensitive recounting of a writer’s doomed fantasy.” —Kirkus Reviews
“One of the most wrenching and scandalous love stories in all of literary biography . . . di Robilant reconstructs their tale with remarkable precision and a wealth of unpublished materials . . . what emerges is an ample, finely detailed fresco of the last stage of Hemingway’s life, a kaleidoscopic succession of relationships, passions, trips, editorial disputes, drinking binges, set against the backdrop of northeast Italy . . . [Autumn in Venice] has all the intrigue and emotion of a novel.” —Pietro Spirito. Il Piccolo (Italy)
“An evocative and alluring tale of love and death . . . In his effusive letters to Adriana, Hemingway laid bare his extremely passionate, generous, and contradictory nature.” Mirella Serri, La Stampa (Italy)
Ernest Hemingway and His Last Muse