Hemingway's Cuban Son: Reflections on the Writer by His Longtime Majordomo
Kent State University Press, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 157 pages
In 1996 Rene Villarreal returned to Cuba to retrieve his memoir of his life with Ernest Hemingway at the Finca Vigia. Sadly, he learned that the manuscript and photographs had been lost. Determined to tell his story, Villarreal, together with his son Raul, set about rewriting the account of how he came to be Ernest Hemingway's majordomo, confidant, and friend--his Cuban son. Hemingway, called El Americano by the Cubans, moved into the Finca Vigia, an estate outside of Havana, in 1939. He allowed the village children to play on his property, and they soon became fixtures, caring for his pets, performing odd jobs, and running errands. Hemingway recognized Rene as especially responsible and attentive and made him household manager, or majordomo, in 1946 when Rene was only seventeen. For the next fifteen years, Rene ran the Finca, tending to Hemingway and his wife, Mary, and their visiting family and distinguished guests. Villarreal's clear recollections offer up humorous stories of escapades and adventures with Hemingway as well as insightful comments on the writer's work habits, moods, passions, and friendships. He also writes of Cuba before and after the revolution, capturing so well the sense of place and time. Scholars and readers of Hemingway worldwide will be caught up in this compelling story of a great friendship and will find insight into this complicated, fascinating, brilliant writer.
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Adriana afternoon Big Goats bookcase bottle boys brother cage Carretera Central cats ceiba ceiba tree Cotorro couple of days Crook Factory Cuba Cuban dining room dogs Dominguin Don Pedro door drink Duke of Windsor Ernest Hemingway eyes Fanny father Fico Fidel Castro Finca Vigia fishing Francisco de Paula friends front gate George Brown Gianfranco Gigi going Gonzalo Gregorio Fuentes Guanabacoa guayabera guest hand Hatuey Havana head Hemingway and Mary Hemingway asked Hemingway's ingway Juan Justo kitchen knew later leave lion living room looked Luis majordomo Martha Martha Gellhorn Mary's room Miss Mary Moralito morning muchacho museum never night pantry Papa and Mary Papa asked Papa Hemingway Papa's Pichilo Pilar pool Popito Portela pueblo Ramon Raul Rene rifle safari San Francisco smiled Spanish stayed Steinhart stopped terrace thought told took trip Villarreal visited the Finca waiting walked wanted workroom