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Resounds: Chris Warren

Chris Warren
courtesy Chris Warren
Chris Warren

“Hunting in the mountains is more damned fun than anything you can imagine. I wish the hell you’d come; this is the most beautiful country you ever saw.”

So said Ernest Hemingway in a letter to his artist pal, Henry Strater, from the L Bar T Ranch on the Montana-Wyoming line, in September 1930.

Iconic American author Hemingway spent five summers at a ranch on the edge of Yellowstone National Park in the 1930s.

His experiences in the mountains are connected to twelve of his most famous works, including For Whom the Bell Tolls. Hemingway declared that the ranch near the small town of Cooke City, Montana, on the edge of Yellowstone, was one of his favorite places to write in the world, on par with Paris and Madrid.

Yet Hemingway’s time in the Yellowstone High Country has never been thoroughly examined—until now. After years of painstaking research, author Chris Warren takes readers on a remarkable journey into one of the most important periods in the life of one of the world’s most important writers. This is a Hemingway that few readers knew existed, living in a place that few scholars knew was so essential to his writing.

The Wyoming-Montana frontier was one of Hemingway’s favorite places in the world to write, up there with Paris and Madrid. “Some other places were not so good,” he later conceded, “but maybe we were not so good when we were in them.”

After an accident near Laurel, Hemingway spent seven weeks at St. Vincent Hospital. His stay was the inspiration for the rollicking short story, “The Gambler, the Nun and the Radio.”

In 2018 Warren presented a paper on Hemingway’s final short story, which was set in Cooke City, to the Hemingway Society in Paris, France.

Sadly, the 2020 International Hemingway Conference schedule to take place on this July in Sheridan Wyoming and Cooke City has been cancelled.

The book, Ernest Hemingway in the Yellowstone High Country is published by Riverbend Publishing in Helena, Montana, and is available on Amazon.

Corby Skinner is an independent marketing professional with an enormous capacity for assessing issues and creating positive, effective messages.
Anna Paige is a Montana-based journalist, poet and educator. She is originally from Wyoming and has lived in Billings for more than a decade, where she co-founded Young Poets, winner of the 2021 Library of Congress Award for Literacy.