Hotel Florida: Truth, Love, and Death in the Spanish Civil War

by Amanda Vaill

Picador | March 31, 2015 | Trade Paperback

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"Whether or not you''re a history buff, you''ll be fully immersed in Vaill''s chronicle of the band of journalists-including Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn-who covered the upheaval of the Spanish Civil War."-Entertainment Weekly

Madrid, 1936. In a city blasted by civil war, six people meet and find their lives changed forever. Ernest Hemingway, his career stalled, his marriage sour, hopes this war will give him fresh material and new romance; Martha Gellhorn, an ambitious novice journalist hungry for love and experience, thinks she will find both with Hemingway in Spain. Robert Capa and Gerda Taro, idealistic young photographers based in Paris, are inventing modern photojournalism as they capture history in the making. And Arturo Barea, Madrid''s foreign press chief, and Ilsa Kulcsar, his Austrian deputy, are struggling to balance truth-telling with loyalty to their sometimes compromised cause-a struggle that places both of them in peril. Hotel Florida traces the tangled wartime destinies of these three couples against the backdrop of a critical moment in history.
From the raw material of unpublished letters and diaries, official documents, and recovered reels of film, Amanda Vaill has created a narrative of love and reinvention that is, finally, a story about truth: finding it out, telling it, and living it-whatever the cost.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 480 pages, 8.96 × 6.01 × 0.78 in

Published: March 31, 2015

Publisher: Picador

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1250062446

ISBN - 13: 9781250062444

Found in: History

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– More About This Product –

Hotel Florida: Truth, Love, and Death in the Spanish Civil War

by Amanda Vaill

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 480 pages, 8.96 × 6.01 × 0.78 in

Published: March 31, 2015

Publisher: Picador

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1250062446

ISBN - 13: 9781250062444

Read from the Book

July 1936: Madrid     Arturo Barea lay on the brown, pine-needled floor of a forest in the Sierra de Guadarrama, northwest of Madrid, with his head in his mistress’s lap. It was midafternoon on Sunday, July 19, and the resinous air was loud with the sound of cicadas. Tall, thin, with slicked-back dark hair, the eyes of an El Greco saint, and the mouth of a sensualist, Barea was drowsy with the heat, the wine he and Maria had had with their picnic lunch, and the lovemaking afterward; he longed to close his eyes and give himself over to sleep. But Maria had other ideas. She wanted to talk. Not, this time, about how much she wanted him to leave his wife and children and make an honest woman of her after six years as his secretary and occasional bedmate, a subject that usually ended in stalemate and tears. Today she wanted to know where Barea had been last night, all night: what he had been doing that had kept him both away from home and away from her bed. But the events and sensations of the last twelve hours were too raw, too immediate to discuss; he sensed that the equipoise of his life was about to spin irrevocably out of control, and he was too exhausted to deal with the consequences. At thirty-eight, Barea had constructed a life that was a delicate balancing act. He’d grown up poor: his father, an army recruiter, dead at forty, had left his family penniless; his mother had had to wash soldiers’ dirty laundry in the Manzanares—breaking the i
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Table of Contents

Maps x
Chronology xiii
Principal Characters xvii
A Note on Spelling xxi
Author''s Note xxiii
Prologue 3
Part I: "They are here for their lives" 9
Part II: "You never hear the one that hits you" 105
Part III: "La Despedida" 283
Epilogue 355
Notes 367
Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations 407
Bibliography 409
Acknowledgments 415
Index 417

From the Publisher

"Whether or not you''re a history buff, you''ll be fully immersed in Vaill''s chronicle of the band of journalists-including Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn-who covered the upheaval of the Spanish Civil War."-Entertainment Weekly

Madrid, 1936. In a city blasted by civil war, six people meet and find their lives changed forever. Ernest Hemingway, his career stalled, his marriage sour, hopes this war will give him fresh material and new romance; Martha Gellhorn, an ambitious novice journalist hungry for love and experience, thinks she will find both with Hemingway in Spain. Robert Capa and Gerda Taro, idealistic young photographers based in Paris, are inventing modern photojournalism as they capture history in the making. And Arturo Barea, Madrid''s foreign press chief, and Ilsa Kulcsar, his Austrian deputy, are struggling to balance truth-telling with loyalty to their sometimes compromised cause-a struggle that places both of them in peril. Hotel Florida traces the tangled wartime destinies of these three couples against the backdrop of a critical moment in history.
From the raw material of unpublished letters and diaries, official documents, and recovered reels of film, Amanda Vaill has created a narrative of love and reinvention that is, finally, a story about truth: finding it out, telling it, and living it-whatever the cost.

About the Author

Amanda Vaill is the author of the bestselling Everybody Was So Young: Gerald and Sara Murphy-A Lost Generation Love Story, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in biography, and Somewhere: The Life of Jerome Robbins, for which she was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship. In addition to her screenplay for the Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning public television documentary Jerome Robbins: Something to Dance About, she has also written features and criticism for a range of journals from Allure to The Washington Post Book World. She lives in New York City.

Editorial Reviews

Hotel Florida adds to the cold hard facts--as well as to the enduring mystique--of the Spanish Civil War.