Welcome to the 2020 Summer Fiction issue of The New Yorker. This year we are getting a previously unpublished story from Ernest Hemingway, “Pursuit as Happiness.” The title was chosen by Hemingway’s son, Patrick, and comes from Hemingway’s Green Hills of Africa. This story will be included in Scribner’s forthcoming edition of The Old Man and the Sea, as a kind of companion piece. In his interview with The New Yorker, Seán Hemingway admits that he doesn’t know why the story was never published; “it is a gem among the unpublished material in my grandfather’s personal papers.”
So here we are! It’s been a long time since I read any Hemingway. I read most of what I was interested in more than two decades ago, liked much of it, but have not returned. That’s typical of so many of these authors who are canonized and become part of high school curriculum. Maybe it’s for our good we encounter them then (though that’s debatable), but it is likely not good for the works themselves to be subjected to our nascent scrutiny and then checked off our to-read list. I’m looking forward to this.
We have a couple of weeks to go through these stories, which is good because all three are a bit long, and Emma Cline’s is almost double the length of the typical contemporary New Yorker story. I look forward to reading your thoughts!