Bonnar Wins Hemmingway Writers Challenge
Robert Wheeler’s book; “Hemingway’s Paris: A Writer’s City in Words and Pictures” inspired the challenge with the photo entitled “Place de la Concorde.” Writers were asked to submit a total of 200 words and include the two words Hemingway might have used to describe the city of Paris where he and his first wife, Hadley Richardson, lived in the 1920’s. Those words were “my love.”
We received over 100 submissions for the Hemingway Writer’s Challenge, part of a joint project of NHWP, NH PBS and NH Humanities. We announced our winner, Bonnar Spring on April 1 at a screening and discussion of the new Ken Burns documentary, HEMINGWAY.
Actor Christopher Savage read Bonnar’s winning entry.
Here is the winning piece:
It’s cold for autumn in Paris, too bleak and rainy to escape our flat, which reverberates with echoes of silent meals and lovemaking. He drains his coffee and sets the cup down. “There’s a train for Madrid at noon.” I hold out the fleeting hope he’ll add, as he once would, “Let’s go.” “Some things I need to do,” he says. Outside the station, he pulls away his arm and bends to kiss me. My fists clench; I look away. He whispers, “Au revoir, mon amour.” He isn’t French, but he likes the economy of French phrases like this one. It’s not “goodbye, my love,” he insists. “Au revoir means ‘until I return.’” He always returns. In a week. A month. Comes back smelling of another woman or just sunshine and cigars. He’ll have stories. Some will be true. I walk to the flat and light a cigarette. When he returns this time, will I be here? I sit at our table by the window, my view of Paris rooftops all but obscured by thick gray clouds and teardrops of rain running down the pebbly glass. If the sun comes out before I finish my cigarette, I’ll leave . . .