Author of Running with the Bulls
A chance encounter in Spain in 1959 brought young Irish reporter Valerie Danby-Smith face to face with Ernest Hemingway. The interview was awkward and brief, but before it ended something had clicked into place. For the next two years, she devoted her life to Hemingway and his wife, Mary, traveling with them through beloved old haunts in Spain and France and living with them during the tumultuous final months in Cuba. Read More >
In prose of brilliant clarity and stinging candor, Valerie evokes the magic and the pathos of Papa Hemingway's last years. Swept up in the wild revelry that always exploded around Hemingway, Valerie found herself dancing in the streets of Pamplona, cheering bullfighters at Valencia, careening around hairpin turns in Provence, and savoring the panorama of Paris from her attic room in the Ritz. Read More >
From lunches with Orson Welles to midnight serenades by mysterious troubadours, from a rooftop encounter with Castro to numbing hospital vigils, Valerie Hemingway played an intimate, indispensable role in the lives of two generations of Hemingways. This memoir, by turns luminous, enthralling, and devastating, is the account of what she enjoyed, and what she endured, during her astonishing years of living as a Hemingway." Read Less ^
"Valerie's presentation was absolutely wonderful!! We had a super turnout for the event - 106 people. She received tons of press from our local newspaper as well as the Detroit paper. Her talk was fabulous and she was delightful to work with. I can't thank you and Melissa enough for the opportunity to have her at our library."
"What a truly wonderful memoir. Thank you so much for you insight into the man and his family, and into the events of your own interesting life. Providence had you at the right place at the right time often to become such a vital piece of literary history."
"She was very knowledgeable and endearing. She conveys the sense of "having been there" without aggrandizing her role or even her presence; it inspires the trust of her audience."
"Valerie was fabulous yesterday. We had 500+ people and it was very well received. Few written questions, so she took some ad lib ones and all were well answered. Lots of compliments to me afterwards. What a charming woman. Reading her book, it's clear she has had a more amazing life than she even told about."
"Things went beautifully. Her program was wonderful and she was so gracious when meeting and talking to people that wanted to ask questions and visit with her. It was the perfect way to end the season."
"Our event with Valerie was INCREDIBLE. She was fabulous -- gracious, charming, endearing -- and our Library supporters loved her. I have heard rave reviews from everyone. Her unique perspective into the life of Ernest Hemingway was beautifully presented. I can't thank you enough. She made our first fundraiser a memorable one, indeed!"
"I am still hearing rave reviews whenever I see someone who was at your presentation! You delighted the attendees with your beautiful stories about your fascinating life. The event proved to be just what the committee had hoped for and we have you to thank for that!!"