The book Hemingway in Love: His Own Story, written my A. E. Hotchner is a memoir about Ernest Hemingway. Hotchner’s book is an ode to a long friendship and the story of a life-changing love affair. First released last year, the book is available in a paperback edition.
In the book, Hotchner is asked by Hemingway, “How does a young man know when he falls in love for the very first time, how can he know that it will be the only true love of his life?” In conversation with Jocks&Nerds last year, Hotchner spoke about his final meeting with Hemingway in the psychiatric section of St. Mary’s Hospital in Minnesota. This is where Hemingway spent his final years, before taking his own life in July 1961. The content of this conversation formed the base of the book.
Hemingway realised Hadley Richardson, his first wife, was the love of his life when it was too late. Hemingway shared with Hotchner how, after Richardson got married to another man, this was one of the most painful moments in his life. Hotchner describes Hemingway as a complicated man who would have difficulty forming friendships. But once a relation was established, Ernest would his friends as if they were his family. “People made the mistake of thinking they knew him," said Hotcher. "They went on the assumption that he was a one-dimensional man. That was fatal.”
Not only did Hemingway suffer from a broken heart but from severe mental illness, something that eventually led to him committing suicide. During his final years he was also filled with paranoias about being followed. Something everyone thought of as a symptom of his illness.
After his death is was reported that the FBI, suspicious of potential communist activity, had been watching him during his frequent visits to Cuba and while he was at St. Mary's. The fact that Hemingway’s paranoia was true was a shock to everyone. Hotchner described Hemingway as “an original in every way”, a man with many secrets, but he would never expect the news about the FBI to be true.
“That was a blow to me," says Hotchner. "If I had known that, it would have been entirely different. About his treatment and everything else. But nobody had an inkling.”