Hemingway: Coming of Age in an Earlier Age Virtual Event

In conjunction with Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s epic documentary, “Hemingway,” Detroit Public TV presented a special virtual event on the writer whose Michigan-based Nick Adams short fiction has long been a model for coming-of-age stories. Much of those stories were patterned on Hemingway’s own childhood, when he spent summers in Northern Michigan fishing, exploring and learning about life.

We invited a distinguished panel of guest to delve into these tales, what they tell us about Hemingway, how modern they were in their own time and how they influence (or not) today’s more diverse community of writers and readers. Do the Nick Adams stories still speak to us? How do characters – and the rest of us — come of age in America one hundred years later?


  • Marc Dudley, Professor of English at North Carolina State University, Author of “Hemingway, Race, and Art: Bloodlines and the Color Line.”
  • Keith Hood, Writer and Former Editor of the Orchid Literary Review
  • Monica Rico, Poet, Editor-in-Chief of U-M Bear River Writers’ Conference Review
  • Fred Svoboda, Professor of English at University of Michigan-Flint, Former Director and Treasurer of the Ernest Hemingway Foundation
  • Moderator, Heather-Marie Montilla, Library Bureau Chief of PBS Books

Suggested Reading by the Comma Bookstore:

  • Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall
  • Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
  • Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
  • The Vanishing Half: A Memoir by Brit Bennett
  • Buck: A Memoir by M.K. Asante

This event is being presented in partnership with the University of Michigan-Flint and Comma Bookstore.

Corporate funding for HEMINGWAY was provided by Bank of America. Major funding was provided by the Annenberg Foundation, The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, and by ‘The Better Angels Society,’ and its members John & Leslie McQuown, the Elizabeth Ruth Wallace Living Trust, John & Catherine Debs, The Fullerton Family Charitable Trust, the Kissick Family Foundation, Gail M. Elden, Gilchrist & Amy Berg, Robert & Beverly Grappone, Mauree Jane & Mark Perry; and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS.

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