A Moveable Feast is my favorite book by classic American writer, Ernest Hemingway. This is not a novel, but in some ways this memoir reads like a novel. It’s about the early years of Hemingway’s career as a young writer in 1920s Paris. He explains the title with this quote:
“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”
And reading this book is a feast for writers. Hemingway was the ambitious novice who lived these experiences in an environment that nourished his spirit. You get a feel for the place, the times and the community of writers and artists that he hung out with including Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, James Joyce, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Along with this eclectic and close community, there is also critique—critique of his work and that of his peers. You also get a sense for what it took to be a poor writer, even though Hemingway wrote the bulk of the book later in his life. Hemingway began writing this book in 1957 when he recovered his notes from the 1920’s and the book was published posthumously in 1964, three years after his death.
Chapters in this book are separate stories, and can be read independent of the other and they are not in chronological order.
I recommend this book for Hemingway fans and it’s a must read for writers. If you’re a writer, I also recommend Ernest Hemingway on Writing. Go to your quiet place and start reading or listening.