62 Years After It Was Written, a Hemingway Story Gets Published for the First Time

Central Press/Getty Images
Central Press/Getty Images

Ernest Hemingway's catalog of published works inspired by his time living in Paris just got a little larger. As PBS reports, his semi-autobiographical short story, "A Room on the Garden Side," has appeared in print for the first time.

Unlike other works that are published long after an author's death, this story was never lost. It was part of a quintet of pieces Hemingway wrote in 1956 and submitted to publisher Charlie Scribner that same year. Only one story in the batch was published, while "A Room on the Garden Side" ended up preserved at the Library of Congress and at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.

The 3000 words of prose, written by hand on 15 sheets of paper, draw from Hemingway's time in Paris during World War II, in which he served as a reporter and unofficial soldier. The story takes place after the liberation of Paris and centers on a group of French resistance fighters drinking at The Ritz and reminiscing on their war days.

Plenty of parallels can be drawn between the narrator Robert, or "Papa," and Ernest Hemingway. In real life, Hemingway helped take back the The Ritz, one of his favorite spots in the city, during Paris's liberation from Nazi occupation.

Hemingway died in 1961, and in the decades since, his estate has been protective of his unpublished works. Now, 62 years after "A Room on the Garden Side" was penned, his estate has finally agreed to have it published in The Strand, a quarterly literary magazine. The Strand's managing editor Andrew Gulli told PBS that members of Hemingway's estate "understand we have a good track record of publishing unpublished works. They want to make sure that if something is released that it will honor the memory of Ernest Hemingway.”

Issue 55 of The Strand, featuring Hemingway's story, is now available to purchase for $10.

[h/t PBS]

This Test Will Tell You How Many Books You Can Read in a Year

iStock.com/elenaleonova
iStock.com/elenaleonova

It's tempting to compare yourself to others when pursuing a reading goal. According to the Pew Research Center, the average person in the U.S. reads about 12 books per year—but that number won't help you if you read at a different pace than the average American. To figure out how many books you should read in a year, Lenstore has come up with a test that measures your individual reading skills.

To start, click on the test below and read the passages that pop up at your natural reading speed. Once you've finished, you'll be asked a few questions about the reading to prove you understood it.

Lenstore gave the test to 1600 people and found that the average participant took 101 seconds to complete the passage. If a person reads for 30 minutes a day at that speed, they can get through 33 books a year (assuming book lengths average out to 90,000 words). Speedy readers who blast through the passage in 60 seconds can read 55 books in a year with 30 minutes of daily reading time—which comes out to just over one book a week.

If half an hour of reading a day sounds overly optimistic, you can see how your book goal would change based on your reading schedule. Lenstore also shows you how long it would take to read specific books based on your reading speed. They give examples of long reads that require many hours of commitment, like War and Peace, as well as quick books like The Color Purple.

After taking the test, check out our list of the best books of 2018 for some suggestions of what to read next.

Stephen King Just Stopped a Maine Newspaper From Cutting Its Freelance Book Reviews

Thos Robinson, Getty Images
Thos Robinson, Getty Images

Maine has inspired some of Stephen King's most successful horror novels, and now the 71-year-old author has found a way to repay his home state. As The A.V. Club reports, King recently helped rescue the freelance book reviews section of the Portland Press Herald and its sister paper The Maine Sunday Telegram, giving both Maine writers and freelance journalists a boost.

After the Portland Press Herald announced that it would no longer publish freelance reviews of books related to Maine, King turned to Twitter. "Retweet this if you're from Maine (or even if you're not)," he tweeted to his 5.1 million followers on Friday, January 11. "Tell the paper DON'T DO THIS."

The change would have had consequences not just for readers, but local writers. The paper's regional reviews highlight the books by Maine writers that national papers may ignore. They're also written by local freelance journalists, and cutting the section would leave them without work.

The Press Herald responded to King's viral call to action with a challenge of its own: If he could get 100 people to buy a digital subscription to the newspaper, it would not cut its the freelance book review budget, the paper tweeted. (The move wouldn't have eliminated reviews from the Press Herald entirely—the paper still planned on having a books section and running national reviews from wire services, but would have nixed the Maine-centric reviews it currently employs freelance writers to do.)

King's followers came through. In less than 48 hours, the paper gained roughly 200 new subscribers, and after doubling its goal, the Portland Press Herald promised to reinstate the freelance reviews in time for the January 20 edition of The Maine Sunday Telegram.

"You all are the best readers anywhere. Sincerely," the paper tweeted on January 12. "We love you Maine. We love you journalists. We love you newspapers."

[h/t The A.V. Club]

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