In a letter written in 1956, American author Ernest Hemingway told his publisher he had written five new short stories. “They are probably very dull stories but some are very funny I think,” he wrote. “Anyway, you can always publish them after I’m dead.” Six decades later, a literary magazine is doing just that. One of those long-lost stories, “A Room on the Garden Side,” is being published for the first time in The Strand Magazine with permission from the Hemingway estate.
Written 62 years ago, the short work of fiction has all the trademark elements readers love about Hemingway: War, wine and male camaraderie. In his signature staccato style, Hemingway opens the story inside the Hotel Ritz in Paris, where a group of soldiers are discussing combat, poetry and romance over drinks.
“We were all up in the room at the Ritz and the windows that overlooked the garden were open,” Hemingway begins. “I was lying back against four pillows on one of the beds with my boots off reading and the other bed was covered with maps of the country we had gone through.”
As fans of Hemingway know, much of his work, like “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” was inspired by war. His classic novel, “A Farewell to Arms,” drew from his time serving as an ambulance driver during World War I, and Hemingway was also a correspondent in Paris during World War II, when “A Room on the Garden Side” takes place.