Saturday, February 6, 2010

John Hemingway at The Windy City Story Slam

Windy City Story Slam

Here’s a heads-up for anyone in the Chicago area. I’ll be speaking and doing a book signing at the Hemingway House in Oak Park on Thursday the 25th and on the 26th I’ve been invited to take part in the Windy City Story Slam. It’ll be my first time at the Hemingway House and after this I’ll have seen all of his homes except for the Finca Vigía outside of Havana (which for a US citizen like myself is just a tad more difficult to visit). Eventually, however, I’m sure that I’ll make it to Cuba, too. The government down there, in collaboration with the American  Finca Vigía Foundation, has been doing a lot of important work in saving my grandfather’s island hideaway from the ravages of Cuba’s humidity, termites and tropical storms.

Chance encounters are everything in life and if I hadn’t met Bill Hillmann in a bar during the Fiesta of Pamplona last year I probably wouldn’t be speaking in Chicago at the end of this month. Bill, unlike my grandfather, actually runs with the bulls during San Fermin. Ernest was very good at popularizing and reporting on what he saw during his visits to Spain but he was smart enough to steer clear of the Toro Bravos, the fighting bulls that race through the streets of Pamplona. Having already had his brush with death on the Italian front during the First World War when he was hit by an Austrian shell, he probably didn’t feel the need to risk it all again and again as runners like my friend Bill do every year during the Fiesta. Bill, a talented writer in his own right, is a native of Chicago, and I think it only fitting that I should be invited by him to his home town to speak and to reconnect with a city that perhaps more than any other created the man whose works have influenced generations of writers. If a sense of place is, as they say, at the core of any great author, then what could be more important than the town where Ernest was born and raised?


Nikolas said...

Hi John!
Remember me? I'm Níkolas, I've wrote to you some time ago.
Hey, nice to know you'll present in Chicago =) If I were in USA, I'd go there.
That's also very nice to know that the memory of Ernest Hemmingway has been kept from the weather, that in tropical areas have been terrible (including here in Brazil).
I also would like to buy your book, I don't know if I can find it in the brazilian bookstores, so I'll buy it in the internet.

PS: John, is it very difficult for amateur writers to edit and see their books in the shelves in USA? I write novels, shortstories and poems, but in Brazil, it's extremely difficult to edit and sell them O.o

Nice to talk to you again! I'll keep in touch.

John Hemingway said...

Ciao Nikolas,

Yes, it is difficult to get published in the USA, even for a Hemingway, believe it or not. My book, Strange Tribe, as a manuscript, was shown to over 30 different editors by my agent before one decided to buy it (Lyons Press). All I can say is to keep trying and to believe in yourself, which is the most important thing for a writer.


Laurene said...

Hi, John and Nikolas.

John: avançou a ideia de traduzir o Strange Tribe no Brasil?

Nikolas: ainda não comprei pq estou aguardando a versão em português; se vc comprar em inglês, vamos ficar em contato que quero trocar ideias e trabalhar em conjunto. Estou esboçando um artigo fazendo um paralelo entre Hemingway e Euclides da Cunha e quero ver se entro na Hemingway Society. O preço para associar-se não é muito alto ( o dólar tá baixo, aliás).

Abs do Lúcio Jr.

John Hemingway said...

Ciao Lucio!

I would love to have Strange Tribe translated into Portuguese in Brazil:-) Do you know of any editors who would be interested?


Laurene said...

Hi, John!

Tenho duas sugestões de editoras: (site da fábrica de leitura)
e a editora vida e consciência:

Vou tentar tb o contato de uma agente literária.

No entanto, o ideal seria alguém como Contardo Calligaris fazer os contatos com uma editora e transformar o artigo dele num prefácio para vc. Contardo faz sucesso aqui, especialmente entre as mulheres.

Quem sabe eu e o Nikolas não fazemos uma tradução a quatro mãos (with your help, John) e daí procuramos editoras, já com o material traduzido? Penso que reduzindo custos seria mais fácil.

Outra: o Luiz Peaze ou o Urariano não teriam contatos com alguém da universidade que estuda Hemingway no Brasil? Acho que seria importante...

Abs do Lúcio Jr.