Yours, for Probably Always: Martha Gellhorn's Letters of Love and War 1930-1949

Category: Book
By (author): Somerville, Janet
Subject:  BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Editors, Journalists, Publishers
  BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / General
  BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Literary
Publisher: Firefly Books
Published: September 2019
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 528
Size: 9.25in x 6.50in
Our Price:
$ 40.00
Availability:
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

(starred review) Somerville makes an impressive book debut with a life of novelist, journalist, and intrepid war correspondent Martha Gellhorn (1908-1998), told through a captivating selection of her letters to friends, family, husbands, and lovers. The volume is enriched by Somerville's biographical narrative and her decision to include responses of many recipients and, in some cases, letters between individuals who were especially significant in Gellhorn's life... An engrossing collection that burnishes Gellhorn's reputation as an astute observer, insightful writer, and uniquely brave woman.
--Kirkus, July 08, 2019

"A titan of American letters. It's high time for Gellhorn to emerge from the shadows of twentieth-century literature into the bright light of mainstream recognition."
--The Washington Post Book World (on Martha Gelhorn)

Before email, when long distance telephone calls were difficult and expensive, people wrote letters, often several each day. Today, those letters provide an intimate and revealing look at the lives and loves of the people who wrote them. When the author is a brilliant writer who lived an exciting, eventful life, the letters are especially interesting.

Martha Gellhorn was a strong-willed, self-made, modern woman whose journalism, and life, were widely influential at the time and cleared a path for women who came after her. An ardent anti-fascist, she abhorred "objectivity shit" and wrote about real people doing real things with intelligence and passion. She is most famous, to her enduring exasperation, as Ernest Hemingway's third wife. Long after their divorce, her short tenure as "Mrs. Hemingway" from 1940 to 1945 invariably eclipsed her writing and, consequently, she never received her full due.

Gellhorn's work and personal life attracted a disparate cadre of political and celebrity friends, among them, Sylvia Beach, Ingrid Bergman, Leonard Bernstein, Norman Bethune, Robert Capa, Charlie Chaplin, Chiang Kai-shek, Madame Chiang, Colette, Gary Cooper, John Dos Passos, Dorothy Parker, Maxwell Perkins, Eleanor and Franklin D. Roosevelt, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Orson Welles, H.G. Wells -- the people who made history in her time and beyond.

Yours, for Probably Always is a curated collection of letters between Gellhorn and the extraordinary personalities that were her correspondents in the most interesting time of her life. Through these letters and the author's contextual narrative, the book covers Gellhorn's life and work, including her time reporting for Harry Hopkins and America's Federal Emergency Relief Administration in the 1930s, her newspaper and magazine reportage during the Spanish Civil War, World War II and the Vietnam War, and her relationships with Hemingway and General James M. Gavin late in the war, and her many lovers and affairs.

Gellhorn's fiction of the time sold well: The Trouble I've Seen (1936) -- her Depression-Era stories based on the FERA activities, with an introduction by H.G. Wells; A Stricken Field (1940) -- a novel inspired by the German-Jewish refugee crisis and set in 1938 Czechoslovakia; The Heart of Another (1941) -- stories edited by Maxwell Perkins; and The Wine of Astonishment (1948) -- her novel about the liberation of Dachau, which she reported for Collier's.

Gellhorn's life, reportage, fiction and correspondence reveal her passionate advocacy of social justice and her need to tell the stories of "the people who were the sufferers of history." Renewed interest in her life makes this new collection, packed with newly discovered letters and pictures, fascinating reading.

Review Quote*A book I guarantee you is going to make waves.
Review Quote*(starred review) Somerville makes an impressive book debut with a life of novelist, journalist, and intrepid war correspondent Martha Gellhorn (1908-1998), told through a captivating selection of her letters to friends, family, husbands, and lovers. The volume is enriched by Somerville's biographical narrative and her decision to include responses of many recipients and, in some cases, letters between individuals who were especially significant in Gellhorn's life... An engrossing collection that burnishes Gellhorn's reputation as an astute observer, insightful writer, and uniquely brave woman.
Review Quote*A fitting tribute to a remarkable life and career.
Review Quote*As much as any woman in the twentieth century, Martha Gellhorn succeeded in her ambition to 'go everywhere and see everything and sometimes write about it.' It is wonderful to have this compendious new collection of letters from and to her, a few newly discovered. Janet Somerville has carefully set each group of correspondence in its historical context and further enriched them with photographs which even longtime Gellhorn admirers will not have seen.
Review Quote*Martha Gellhorn was courageous and committed in love and in war. What a pleasure reading her correspondence and being reminded of how beautifully she wrote, filled with passion and insight.
Review Quote*Yours, for Probably Always is a rich resource about an extraordinary life well-lived. The literary stream-of-consciousness letters, uncensored and intimate, read like a novel. There are dramatic flashpoints, but also revelations of everyday existence that are equally absorbing. The book provides genuine insight about Martha Gellhorn and how real she was.
Review Quote*It was a huge job to pull this all together and make it read smoothly when you are covering so much territory and Janet Somerville did that with perfect aplomb. She chose wisely so you see Gellhorn's wit, her charisma, but also her hard work and dedication to mankind.
Review Quote*The remarkable Martha Gellhorn leaps from the pages of these vivid, witty, deeply human and humane letters. Through her loving curation and attention, Janet Somerville gives voice to a 20th century literary pioneer, too long in shadow.
Review Quote*Yours, For Probably Always is an essential book, a ticket into the past, a life spent wildly, often bravely, sometimes not so wisely... Janet Somerville has done a marvelous job with marvelous material. Bravo.