Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Trailer Park Tuesday: Hemingway's Girl by Erika Robuck

Welcome to Trailer Park Tuesday, a showcase of new book trailers and, in a few cases, previews of book-related movies.  Unless their last name is Grisham or King, authors will probably never see their trailers on the big screen at the local cineplex.  And that's a shame because a lot of hard work goes into producing these short marriages between book and video.  So, if you like what you see, please spread the word and help these videos go viral.

Ernest Hemingway, that larger-than-life character, is also a character who spills across the pages of a new novel by Erika Robuck.  Hemingway's Girl is about an 18-year-old Cuban-American girl who goes to work as a maid for Papa H. in Depression-era Key West.  The novel has been favorably compared to The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, but it more than holds its own as a robust story of a love triangle with volatile characters in an evocative place and time.  A hurricane is also thrown into the mix, just to add a little more narrative tension. In the book's trailer, Robuck says, "I knew I had to write about this place and I knew I had to bring others there....I chose to write about Hemingway in 1935 when he lived in Key West with his second wife Pauline because it feels to me like the golden age of Hemingway, when he was at the height of his physical power, [and] his writing power."  She notes that the inspiration for the novel was a photo she came across of a young Cuban girl standing on a dock in Havana staring at Hemingway as he boastfully stood beside a huge fish he'd just landed.  "It made me start thinking about the difference between the rich and the poor and what this girl must have been thinking about him."  That girl eventually turned into Mariella, the titular character in Robuck's book.  I've felt a special bond with Hemingway's Girl from the start--not only because of its subject matter, but also because Erika and I share a publication date.  Her novel will be released on the same day as Fobbit--next Tuesday--and I couldn't be more excited to share the date with a novelist you'll be hearing a lot more about in the future (her next novel is about Zelda Fitzgerald).  I'll leave you with the first paragraph of Chapter 2:
The first time Mariella saw Hemingway at his house, he was sitting on a dining room chair on the lawn while his wife, Pauline, cut his curling brown hair. He was big and the chair was small, and he regarded Mariella with the kind of mocking smile that usually runs between old friends. It occured to Mariella that Pauline was trying to tame that great animal of a man, and the absurdity of it made Mariella smile back at him.

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