Big Two-Hearted River: The Centennial Edition (Hardcover)
A gorgeous new centennial edition of Ernest Hemingway’s landmark short story of returning veteran Nick Adams’s solo fishing trip in Michigan’s rugged Upper Peninsula, illustrated with specially commissioned artwork by master engraver Chris Wormell and featuring a revelatory foreword by John N. Maclean.
"The finest story of the outdoors in American literature." —Sports Illustrated
A century since its publication in the collection In Our Time, “Big Two-Hearted River” has helped shape language and literature in America and across the globe, and its magnetic pull continues to draw readers, writers, and critics. The story is the best early example of Ernest Hemingway’s now-familiar writing style: short sentences, punchy nouns and verbs, few adjectives and adverbs, and a seductive cadence. Easy to imitate, difficult to match. The subject matter of the story has inspired generations of writers to believe that fly fishing can be literature. More than any of his stories, it depends on his ‘iceberg theory’ of literature, the notion that leaving essential parts of a story unsaid, the underwater portion of the iceberg, adds to its power. Taken in context with his other work, it marks Hemingway’s passage from boyish writer to accomplished author: nothing big came before it, novels and stories poured out after it. —from the foreword by John N. Maclean
Ernest Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. His novels include The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953. Born in Oak Park, Illinois, in 1899, he died in Ketchum, Idaho, on July 2, 1961.
John N. Maclean is the author of Home Waters, a memoir of his family’s four-generation connection to Montana’s Blackfoot River, which his father, Norman Maclean, made famous in A River Runs through It. He spent thirty years at the Chicago Tribune, then wrote five nonfiction books about wildland fire that are considered a staple of fire literature. Maclean, an avid fly fisherman, lives in Washington, DC, and at a family cabin in Montana.
"The finest story of the outdoors in American literature." — Sports Illustrated
"'Big Two-Hearted River' may be the finest piece of fiction ever written about the experience of the veteran." — The Guardian
"Matchlessly eloquent in its evocation of the pleasures of the senses and of the feeling of place. ... In 'Big Two-Hearted River,' there are moments that are not just constructed like a Cézanne painting; they look like a Cézanne painting." — Adam Gopnick, The New Yorker
"Some of the best English prose of the twentieth century." — Larry McMurtry, The New York Review of Books
"In Hemingway, fishing was always and infinitely metaphorical; Nick Adams plumbs the depths of his soul as he dangles a line." — Jay Parini, New York Times Book Review
“A masterpiece, one of those rare instances when a superb writer reaches a level reserved only for those extraordinary talents with a nose for what is fundamental but not entirely clear and rational in human existence.” — Claremont Review of Books
“Ernest Hemingway’s ‘Big Two-Hearted River’ retains its hold on me, some 40 years after my first reading. It is a story that can be recited and revealed—like currents in a beloved stream—as fresh as each spring day.” — James F. Vesely, Seattle Times