Wis­dom of the Ages: An Au­thor’s Take From Love and Ruin’s au­thor Paula McLain

ZOOMER Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Paula McLain, 53, the in­ter­na­tion­ally best­selling au­thor of The Paris Wife, re­turns to the sub­ject of Ernest Hem­ing­way in her lat­est novel, Love and Ruin, which dives into his pas­sion­ate, volatile third mar­riage to Martha Gell­horn. The le­gendary au­thor was mar­ried a to­tal of four times, but it was Gell­horn who captured the pub­lic’s imag­i­na­tion most. Their mar­riage, from 1940 to 1945, was the sub­ject of the 2012 film Hem­ing­way & Gell­horn, which saw the cou­ple played by Clive Owen and Ni­cole Kid­man. Like The Paris Wife, which told the story of Hadley Hem­ing­way, Ernest’s first wife, Love and Ruin is his­tor­i­cally accurate and ex­ten­sively re­searched. Adding to the book’s buzz is that this is the first novel ever writ­ten about Gell­horn, the le­gendary war cor­re­spon­dent who pub­lished more than a dozen books in her life­time.

What mo­ti­vated McLain to con­tin­ue­to­ex­ploreHem­ing­way’sper­sonal life? “I was in­spired to write Love and Ruin when I had a crazily vivid dream of fish­ing with Hem­ing­way and his third wife, Martha Gell­horn. The next morn­ing, I Googled her, and that was that,” says McLain. “Not only was she one of the most im­por­tant jour­nal­ists and war cor­re­spon­dents of the 20th cen­tury but also one of the bravest and most orig­i­nal women I’ve ever en­coun­tered.”

What ad­vice do you wish you’d given your 25-year-old self? Keep the faith. You’re not as much of a wreck as you think you are.

What ad­vice would you give your 80-year-old self? Lis­ten to your own voice first.

What do you know for sure? Change is gonna come!

What have you learned? You can’t make ev­ery­one happy. Scratch that. You can’t make any­one happy.

What will you never learn? How to pi­lot a plane.

Best piece of ad­vice? In fic­tion, there are no ab­so­lute vil­lains and no ab­so­lute he­roes, ei­ther. That’s true in life as well. Did it work? It did.

What in­spires you? Un­likely hope in oth­ers.

The mo­ment that changed ev­ery­thing? My first cre­ative writ­ing class, at the age of 24.

Hap­pi­ness is … Fleet­ing and con­stant and nearer than you think.

53 Gell­horn and Hem­ing­way on the beach at Waikiki.

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