Forest Park store reimagines Hemingway in a bedroom

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By Michael Romain

Staff Reporter

The hundreds of Ernest Hemingway scholars and fans who'll be coming to Oak Park next week for the 17th Biennial International of the Hemingway Society — the first time the conference has been held in the famous writer's hometown — can add Yearbook, the Forest Park home furnishings boutique, to their list of must-see destinations. 

With its inventory of case-bound books like Jazz Poems; leather-bound outlines of exercise routines from Yale University's class day, circa 1912; and original Stormy Kromer caps, Yearbook, which is in a 1920s two-flat that features tin ceilings and leaded windows,  may be the one space the great writer may have felt at ease were he alive. The shop is at 7316 W. Madison St.

That routine nostalgia, however, isn't enough, apparently; not for Papa. Yearbook's staff has also recreated what might have been Hemingway's childhood room in the Kenilworth Avenue home where he grew up. 

"The design incorporates a boutique hotel feeling with nuances from Hemingway's life throughout, including an original painting of Hemingway's yacht, the Pilar, above the bed, bedside shelves we had built to mimic those from his home in Havana, bedding to recall bohemian Paris and Native Americans, and loads of books," noted Yearbook's creative director Jef Anderson.

The room, completed just in time for biennial conference and Hemingway's 117th birthday, will host Hemingway's sister-in-law and former personal assistant, Valerie Hemingway, as its first guest, Anderson said. 

A block west of Yearbook, at Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore, 7419 W. Madison St., authors Robert K. Elder and Mark Cirino will talk about their new coffee table book, Hidden Hemingway: Inside the Ernest Hemingway Archives of Oak Park. The event will take place on July 17 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.  

Michael Romain


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