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Ernest Hemingway’s ‘One True Sentence’ To Be Dissected
Jennifer Haigh is a Writer-in-Residence at Ketchum’s Hemingway House. PHOTO: Joanna Eldredge Morrissey
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Wednesday, May 24, 2023


Ernest Hemingway’s admission that “all you have to do is write one true sentence” has long fascinated both writers and Hemingway readers.

The Community Library will explore that concept on Friday when it hosts a presentation by Jennifer Haigh, contributor to the new book “One True Sentence: Writers and Readers on Hemingway’s Art.”

Haigh will be in person at 5 p.m. Friday, May 26, in the Library lecture hall. She will be joined virtually with fellow contributor Andre Dubus II and “One True Sentence” editors Mar Cirino and Michael Von Cannon, who will join the discussion from Porter Square Books in Boston.

The discussion feeds off what Hemingway wrote in 1964 in “A Moveable Feast:”

“I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think: Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”

Cirino and Von Cannon invited a range of thinkers to choose their favorite Hemingway sentence and reflect on it for the book “One True Sentence.”

“The result is a series of short essays, in Q&A style, that enlighten us on Hemingway’s words, the craft of writing, and why we read,” said Martha Williams, the Library’s director of programs and education. “The book lends its readers to so many thoughts on writing and reading, whether we’re talking about Hemingway or literature more broadly.”

Haigh is currently The Community Library’s Writer-in-Residence at the Hemingway House.

“Each resident offers a community program while they are here,” says Williams, “And we were so lucky that this event was already planned with Porter Square Books when Jennifer was invited to spend time at the Hemingway House.”

Haigh is the author of the short story collection “News from Heaven” and six novels, including “Mrs. Kimble, Faith and Heat and Light,” named a Best Book of 2016 by The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and NPR. Her latest novel, “Mercy Street,” was called “extraordinary” by the New York Times.

Andre Dubus II’s seven books include the New York Times’ bestsellers “House of Sand and Fog,” “The Garden of Last Days” and the memoir “Townie.”

Mark Cirino is the host of One True Podcast and the author/editor of six books about Ernest Hemingway. He also is the editor of Kent State University Press’s “Reading Hemingway” series and served as the literature consultant on the cinematic adaptation of Hemingway’s “Across the River and Into the Trees,” which was screened during the 2022 Sun Valley Film Festival.

Michael Von Cannon is the producer of One True Podcast, an advisory editor on the multi-volume Hemingway Letters Project and co-editor of the final volume of “The Letters of Ernest Hemingway: 1957-1961.

Registration to attend in person or virtually can be made at Iconoclast Books will have copies of “One True Sentence” for sale at the event.


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