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February 2021

Dear Readers,

Today, February 22nd, is the tenth anniversary of The Paris Wife! Can you believe it? I can't! It seems like just yesterday that I was first pulled into this story. Even though it brought me success beyond my wildest dreams – selling over 2 million copies and printing in 37 languages – what's most important is that it allowed me to become a full-time writer and introduced me to these characters that I still love and count as my dearest friends.

Do you want to know a secret? I didn't even like Hemingway for most of my life! His prose was too macho, too stripped down, so full bravado. But then I read A Moveable Feast and met the man Hadley did in 1920.

I was instantly fascinated by this little-known woman who followed this young aspiring writer to Paris, believing in his talent before anyone else even knew who he was. Once I realized I had a novel in the works, I  quit my teaching job and wrote in a Starbucks near my house in Cleveland. All the dazzling places that the Hemingways went – from Paris to Pamplona, from the Cote D'Azur to the Swiss Alps – I had never been and couldn't afford to go for research.  I had to read my way there and then project my imagination onto these places. Necessity begets ingenuity. In a whirlwind seven months I had a first draft that had to succeed because there was $600 in my bank account!

The publication of The Paris Wife was a real fairytale moment in my life, a gift that keeps on giving. And I owe it to you, my faithful readers, for loving this book and caring about these characters. Thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. 

I hope you enjoy this special anniversary edition of the newsletter and all the goodies it holds.
 
With Love,

Paula

GIVEAWAY

On Instagram and Facebook, I'm hosting a special giveaway in which I'll gift one lucky winner a copy of A Moveable Feast and an absinthe spoon. The perfect gifts to transport you to 1920s Bohemian Paris! The giveaway is open internationally and closes at 11:59am ET tomorrow, February 23rd.

Click here to enter on Instagram. 
Click here to enter on Facebook. 

See below for a video of me demonstrating how to use the spoon to make an absinthe cocktail and to read a scene from the novel in which the Hemingways are sipping the "green fairy."

 

HOW TO MAKE ABSINTHE

In this celebratory tenth anniversary video I talk about what the publication of The Paris Wife has meant to me while concocting a traditional absinthe cocktail. Enjoy!

ABSINTHE SCENE FROM BOOK

"We were all in high spirits that night, and I’d only meant to have the one glass of absinthe, to celebrate.

'You must go more slowly,' Pound said.

'Must I?' I said, but he wasn’t talking to me at all, but to the waiter pouring water over a sugar cube into the drink, which was going from a wickedly clear yellow-green to a cloudy white as the water dripped in. Absinthe was illegal in France and had been for years. So was opium, but you could find both everywhere in Paris if you knew where to look. I loved the delicate licorice taste and the way the ritual of the cube and specially perforated spoon made raindrops, sugar drops. Our waiter was doing it beautifully, I thought, but Pound grabbed the pitcher with force, taking over.

 
...

'It’s licorice candy and smoke,' I said.

'You’ll wish it were only that tomorrow,' Ernest said.

'Maybe, but it makes everything easier now, doesn’t it?'

'Yes, it does,' Ernest said, touching my glass with his. 'So have it and to hell with tomorrow.' "

ONE TRUE SENTENCE PODCAST

I loved talking to The One True Sentence Podcast –  a podcast that explores all things related to Hemingway, his work, and his world – about my love affair with Ernest, Paris, and writing! 

You can listen to it, here.

BOOK REC

While I've read dozens of books about Hemingway,  I have a particular fondness for Paul Hendrickson’s Hemingway’s Boat, which is so beautifully written, and a wonderful place to start if you’re interested in his life.

You can learn more and order it,
here.

EVENT OF INTEREST

My editor alerted me to this free event about Hemingway co-hosted by The Center for Fiction, PBS, and WNET, and I thought some of you would want to attend! It's called "Hemingway, Gender and Identity." All on Zoom, March 11th at 7pm ET. I'm not involved but you can bet I'll be in attendance!

Register,
here.

WHEN THE STARS GO DARK

And now, I can't send this off without reminding you that When the Stars Go Dark is out in under two months – on April 13th, 2021! I'll have lots of related things in the next newsletter and on my social media channels in the lead up, of course.

I feel like a bottle of champagne just dying to release its bubbles! I'm so excited for you to read my latest baby!

 
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