Books

“In this revelatory compendium…readers are likely to come away with a deepened understanding of—and even awe at—Hemingway’s vast talent.”

Publishers Weekly

“An enjoyable exploration of how Hemingway’s influence on American literature continues to be significant….A valuable take on a canonical writer, highlighting how good work stands the test of time.”

Kirkus

On July 5, 2022, our book One True Sentence: Writers & Readers on Hemingway’s Art will be released by Godine. You can pre-order now.

A selection of the greatest sentences by the master, Ernest Hemingway. Sentences that can take a reader’s breath away and are not easily forgotten. Each sentence has been selected and examined by authors such as Elizabeth Strout, Sherman Alexie, Paula McLain, and Russell Banks; filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick; Seán Hemingway, A. Scott Berg, and many others in this celebration and conversation between Hemingway and some of his most perceptive and interesting readers.

“All you have to do is write one true sentence,” Hemingway wrote in his memoir, A Moveable Feast. “Write the truest sentence that you know.” If that is the secret to Hemingway’s enduring power, what sentences continue to live in readers’ minds? And why do they resonate? We have gathered the best of our One True Podcast program and added entirely new material for this collection of conversations about Hemingway’s truest words.

From the long, whole-story-in-a-sentence line, “I have seen the one-legged streetwalker who works the Boulevard Madeleine between the Rue Cambon and Bernheim Jeunes’ limping along the pavement through the crowd on a rainy night with a beefy red faced episcopal clergyman holding an umbrella over her.”, to the short, pithy line that closes The Sun Also Rises, “Isn’t it pretty to think so?”, this is a collection full of delights, surprises, and insight.

“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened,” wrote Hemingway. “And after you are finished reading one, you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you.” For readers of American literature, One True Sentence is full of remembrances—of words you read and the feelings they gave you. For writers, this is an inspiring view of an element of craft—a single sentence—that can make a good story come alive and become a great story.