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Do You Know Who Martha Gellhorn Was?

Although she is now best known for being Ernest Hemingway’s third wife, Martha Gellhorn was a writer and a war correspondent in her own right, covering dangerous events from the Spanish Civil War to the D-Day invasion.

You can learn about her fascinating life in any of the following books.

(As a bonus: If you’ve signed up for Summer Reading, any of these titles will qualify you for the ‘Reading Takes You Everywhere’ extra challenge. For this challenge, you only need to read a book set in a country other than the United States and fill out a Recommended Read postcard to be entered in a special ‘Where Has Reading Taken You?’ drawing.)

Love and Ruin – Paula McLain


By the author of The Paris Wife, this novel begins with an assassination attempt in the dead of night, then follows Martha Gellhorn through her tumultuous life in the 1930s and 1940s.

This title is also available as an audiobook.

Mrs. Hemingway – Naomi Wood


This novel, based on love letters, telegrams, and other primary sources, weaves together the lives of all four of Ernest Hemingway’s wives, from the 1920s to the 1960s.

If you prefer to read nonfiction, Hotel Florida: Truth, Love, Death, and the Spanish Civil War by Amanda Vaill describes the lives of Gellhorn and Hemingway, and of two other couples, all journalists obsessed with reporting on the world-changing events of their era. Writers, photographers, and dedicated observers, they risked their lives to show the realities of a hopeless conflict.


For a sample of Martha Gellhorn’s writing, one of her essays about Belize ‘A Miracle in the Caribbean’ is included in The Condé Nast Traveler Book of Unforgettable Journeys Volume 2 Great Writers on Great Places.


So, read about great events and great places, and, if you haven’t signed up for Summer Reading yet come to the Information Desk!

Happy Reading!