The story of 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.
Autumn in Venice: Ernest Hemingway and His Last Muse focuses on the final turbulent decade of a life, but Andrea di Robilant captures the full panoply of quirks and conflicts that often made Papa and those closest to him miserable. Lovers, ex-wives, friends, publishers, even complete strangers were forced to dance to the tune he piped ... Still, di Robilant...never fails to empathize with the aging author’s predicament ... A diligent researcher of primary and secondary texts, di Robilant demonstrated in his first book, A Venetian Affair, a gift for weaving fascinating narratives from letters, diaries, archives (including those of the di Robilant family) and previously published work. In this instance he has a treasure trove of material. Chatty as magpies, Mary, Adriana, Gianfranco and even the majordomo René all published memoirs, offering a stereoscopic depiction of events. But the crystallizing point of view, the one that raises this story far above idle gossip, belonged to Hemingway himself.
In this methodically researched account of Ernest Hemingway’s obsession with a much younger woman, Robilant draws heavily on previously unpublished letters and journals ... Autumn in Venice effortlessly and expertly explores the secret desires, successes, and depressive obstacles that shrouded Ernest Hemingway’s final productive years.
Like many other biographers, di Robilant portrays Hemingway as pathetic, petulantly envious of other writers’ successes, often enraged and cruel, and suffering from depression, illnesses, injuries, and the deleterious effects of a lifetime of hard drinking ... A sensitive recounting of a writer’s doomed fantasy.