Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, . Illustrated With Photographs. First Edition, first printing. Signed presentation from Raul Villarreal on the front endpaper: "For Christine, I hope that you enjoy reading my father's story as much as I enjoyed writing it. I look forward to working together, Sinceramente, Rene Villarreal/ Raul Villarreal. 4/12/2012." To me, it looks like Rene signed his last name only and that Raul penned in his first name. René was the longtime majordomo for Ernest Hemingway at the author’s Cuban villa, the Finca Vigia, in San Francisco de Paula. Hemingway, called El Americano by the Cubans, moved into the Finca Vigia, an estate outside of Havana, in 1939. Hemingway recognized René as especially responsible and attentive and made him household manager, or majordomo, in 1946 when René was only seventeen.
For the next fifteen years, René ran the Finca, tending to Hemingway and his wife, Mary, and their visiting family and distinguished guests. Villarreal’s clear recollections offer up humorous stories of escapades and adventures with Hemingway as well as insightful comments on the writer’s work habits, moods, passions, and friendships.
In 1996 René Villarreal returned to Cuba to retrieve his memoir of his life with Ernest Hemingway at the Finca Vigia. Sadly, he learned that the manuscript and photographs had been lost. Determined to tell his story, Villarreal, together with his son Raúl, set about rewriting the account of how he came to be Ernest Hemingway’s majordomo, confidant, and friend―his Cuban son. He also writes of Cuba before and after the revolution, capturing so well the sense of place and time. Books signed by Raul pop up now and again but those signed by Rene (here in a shaky hand) are uncommon. Not sure what year he died. 8vo., black cloth in dust jacket; 157 pages. Item #56915
Near fine in very nice d/j.