Ernest Hemingway’s personal life was as interesting and adventurous as his fiction. So, while I was in Chicago recently I took a side trip to the lovely suburb of Oak Park, where I visited the Ernest Hemingway House and Museum. For Hemingway fans or if you enjoy books about Hemingway such as The Paris Wife, you’ll find a stroll in the author’s old neighborhood is delightful.
In previous posts, such a the one about A Skeptic’s Guide to Writer’s Houses, I’ve discussed the fact that authors’ homes aren’t as interesting as the places where their books are set. Still, it’s fun to see how an author lived and maybe hear a few stories about family life that may have shaped his world view. For example, when you take the guided tour in the home, you’ll see the little dining room where Hemingway’s grandfather sat with the children for breakfast and encouraged all of them to tell stories. He didn’t long enough to see what sprang from such encouragement.
So, if you’re in Chicago, make a trip to Oak Park to visit the Hemingway family home. Start at the museum at 200 Oak Park Avenue 708-524-5383, www.ehfop.org The home where Hemingway was born is one block north.