"His writing was taken up with notions of human dignity and worth, 'the necessity of man's freedom, of personal honor, ' notions by which a man should live and die in a world that had lost the possibility of hope. ('In life, one must [first of all] endure, ' said Hemingway.) Mary V. Dearborn's is the first full biography of Hemingway in more than fifteen years, the first to be written by a woman, the first to fully explore the causes of his suicide and to substantially deepen our understanding of the man, the artist, the self-created larger-than-life force who became Ernest Hemingway. Drawing on newly available materials--among them, the vast collection of papers left behind when Hemingway fled Cuba in 1960; his medical records; his complete FBI file detailing his wartime experience; the newly opened files of the KGB; the papers of his mistress, and those of his sister revealing the profound turmoil of the Hemingway family, as well as the previously overlooked letters of his mother, Grace, opera singer and painter, whose startling and illuminating correspondence reveals her decades-long romantic attachment to a woman while married to Ed Hemingway--Dearborn gives us Hemingway the man who found it difficult to give and receive love and maintain friendships, unless it was 'all for Hemingway.' We see the development of his writing (the self-proclaimed influences: from Mark Twain, Flaubert, and Stendhal to Bach, Mozart, Bruegel, and Cézanne, and, most crucial of all, 'the [Gertrude] steining of Hemingway'); his emergence as a startlingly contemporary figure--not least in the gender experimentation and sexual role-playing that until now have been dismissed as 'gender confusion.' And we see his four marriages, each one a reflection of how he saw himself: the first to the financially independent Hadley Richardson, the wife most like his mother, whose unadorned way of living mirrored his upbringing ... his marriage to the chic Pauline Pfeiffer, writer for Paris Vogue, assistant to Main Bocher, the epitome of the glamorous world into which Hemingway was being welcomed and celebrated ... his marriage to Martha Gellhorn, war correspondent, as Hemingway became politicized and went to fight against Fascism with the Loyalists in Spain. Gellhorn, as much of an artist as her husband, refused to give up her view of herself for Hemingway's demands and expectations. And Mary Welsh, the boyish writer, adventurer, correspondent, willing to keep up with Hemingway in his pursuits and become his caretaker, as he, from his forties on, became undone by alcohol and too many prescribed pills. Hemingway's life is a large story--the giant personality, the hidden demons, the hard-core values left behind, and the carefree childhood that carried him along until 'everything went to hell, ' as he said, and it all blew up. Here is the richest, most nuanced portrait to date of this complex American artist, whose darkness, drive, and vision of courage; whose ambition, self-control, and grace under pressure; and whose eleven novels (four published posthumously) and five short story collections, informed--and are still informing--fiction writing generations after his death."--Jacket.