Ernest Hemingway lived in Chicago for a year and a half, from 1920 to 1921, when he was 21 years old. At the same time, H.L. Mencken claimed that Chicago had become “the literary capital of the United States.” Living in various apartments in Towertown–the then bohemian neighborhood surrounding the Newberry Library–Hemingway was influenced by a vibrant literary and artistic scene, including the writers Carl Sandburg and Sherwood Anderson. But it is the untold story of Hemingway’s relationship with another young journalist starting out in Chicago, Fanny Butcher, that illuminates Hemingway’s lifelong conception of Chicago and the American Midwest.
Liesl Olson is writing a book about Chicago’s literary and cultural centrality during the early twentieth century. She is Director of the Dr. William M. Scholl Center for American History and Culture at the Newberry Library.
This lecture is sponsored by the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation and is part of a series of programs that take a closer look at items in The Newberry 125 anniversary exhibition.
This program is free and no reservations are required.