Ernest Hemingway had one constant in the last 27 years of his life: his fishing boat Pilar. The 38-foot vessel became the writer’s sanctuary after he purchased it in 1934, a place where he entertained some 500 guests as he struggled with artistic and emotional decline. Author Paul Hendrickson made it the heart of his acclaimed biography Hemingway's Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost.
Hemingway spent more than 20 of his final years in Cuba. As part of a current focus on that island nation – in conjunction with the Library’s participation in an exhibit featuring the works of native Cuban photographer Jesse A. Fernández – Hendrickson discusses his book and Hemingway’s life from 1934-61 as viewed from Pilar.
Hendrickson, a longtime writer for The Washington Post, teaches at the University of Pennsylvania.