“A literary landmark. Gellhorn’s prose . . . is at its finest in the letter form.”—Francine du Plessix Gray, The New York Times Book Review Martha Gellhorn’s reporting career brought her to the front lines of virtually every significant conflict from the Spanish Civil War to the end of the cold war. While Gellhorn’s wartime dispatches rank among the best of the century, her personal letters are their equal: as vivid and fascinating as her reporting was trenchant. Gellhorn’s correspondence introduces us to the woman behind the often inscrutable journalist, chronicling her friendships with twentieth-century luminaries as well as her tempestuous marriage to Ernest Hemingway.
Caroline Moorehead, Gellhorn’s critically acclaimed biographer, was granted exclusive access to the letters. This expertly edited volume contextualizes Gellhorn’s correspondence within the arc of her entire life; the result is an intimate portrait of one of the most accomplished women of modern times. A distinguished biographer, Caroline Moorehead has also served as a columnist on human rights for two British newspapers. The author of the National Book Critics Circle finalist Human Cargo: A Journey Among Refugees and Gellhorn: A Twentieth-Century Life, Moorehead lives in London, where she is currently at work on a biography of Lucy Dillon, marquise de la Tour du Pin.Martha Gellhorn's heroic career as a reporter brought her to the front lines of virtually every significant international conflict from the Spanish Civil War until the end of the Cold War. While Gellhorn's wartime dispatches rank among the best of the century, her personal letters are their equal: as vivid and fascinating as her reporting was trenchant.
Gellhorn's correspondence—chronicling friendships with figures as diverse as Eleanor Roosevelt, Leonard Bernstein, and H. G. Wells, as well as her tempestuous marriage to Ernest Hemingway—paint an indelible portrait of the twentieth century as she lived it. The letters introduce us to the woman behind the sometimes inscrutable correspondent, a writer of wit, charm, and vulnerability. They also contain sparkling sketches of noted public figures of the time, as well as vignettes of Africa, Cuba, Panama, and many of the great cities of Europe.
Caroline Moorehead, Gellhorn's critically acclaimed biographer, was granted exclusive access to her papers. This expertly edited volume provides prefatory and interstitial material written by Moorehead to contextualize Gellhorn's correspondence within the arc of her entire life. The result is a definitive yet intimate portrait of one of the most accomplished women of modern times. “A literary landmark . . . Gellhorn’s prose . . . is at its finest in the letter form.”—Francine du Plessix Gray, The New York Times Book Review “Where is the Martha Gellhorn biopic? Why hasn't some enterprising movie producer figured out that this writer's rip-roaring life is the stuff of breathless action-adventure? War correspondent, novelist, short-story writer, playwright: She should be as well known as Truman Capote, but the fact that she's a historical footnote has more to do with the inbred sexism of American mythmaking than with Gellhorn . . . These letters, which have been placed into their proper historical context by Moorehead's thoughtful annotations, reveal the indomitable spirit of a titan of American letters. It's high time for Gellhorn to emerge from the shadows of 20th-century literature into the bright light of mainstream recognition.”—Marc Weingarten, The Washington Post Book World "War correspondent, free spirit, and writer of conscience Martha Gellhorn was beginning to fade into obscurity when Caroline Moorehead reversed the process with her galvanizing biography, Gellhorn. Moorehead now continues her mission to secure Gellhorn her well-deserved place in the pantheon of never-to-be-forgotten writers in this compelling, enjoyable assemblage of letters."—Donna Seaman, Booklist "Celebrated American war reporter Martha Gellhorn (1908–1998) was a prolific letter-writer, sharing with a circle of cherished intellectual friends her declarations against war and poverty; her frustrations in an almost exclusively male profession; her hopes for success as a novelist; and disappointments in love. Gellhorn's biographer organizes correspondence from 1930 to 1996, interspersing brief commentaries that place it in the context of Gellhorn's nonstop global assignments and various international domiciles. Gellhorn's tone is typically warm, forthright and full of spirited analysis. More guarded are letters to her former second husband, Ernest Hemingway, and letters to her adopted son, Sandy, with whom she had a troubled relationship. With Eleanor Roosevelt, a lifelong friend, she shared a passionate liberal outlook; letters to Leonard Bernstein attempt to convey her appreciation of his art. While Gellhorn's unswerving energy and work ethic impress, her love of fierce debate, hard drinking, male company and sunbathing, and her capacity to lose her head in romance render her thoroughly human. Particularly moving is Gellhorn's troubled passage into old age and isolation in the African bush, before being rediscovered as a grande dame of journalism by a young London literary crowd, in whose company she delighted. Gellhorn's letters sparkle to the very last."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)