Work from Hemingway's with NPR host Peter Sagal

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By Michelle Dybal

Contributing Reporter

A new member benefit, offered to those at the Society level, emulates what Ernest Hemingway, the Pulitzer Prize-winning American writer, did himself and is an answer to those feeling stir crazy with libraries and many office spaces still closed — work from Hemingway's at the Birthplace Home in Oak Park. 

Wait Wait Don't Tell Me host Peter Sagal gave it a try on Monday, June 22. Sagal's radio show is a current event quiz show with celebrity guests. It airs on NPR, WBEZ locally, Saturdays, 10 a.m., and Sundays, 11 a.m. For those who sleep in on the weekends, there is a podcast of the episodes.

According to the Ernest Hemingway Foundation, which runs the Ernest Hemingway Birthplace Home, the great American author worked from his living room, bedroom, dining room and loft space. 

His first novel, The Sun Also Rises, was written in 1926 while Hemingway was quarantined on the French Riviera in a two-bedroom home because his young son had whooping cough. Also on lockdown with Ernest — his wife and mistress. 

Those wanting to work like Hemingway (sans the multiple love interests), or Sagal, can purchase a Society Membership, then schedule a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday to work in the home,  339 N. Oak Park Ave., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Only one person is allowed to work each day and a number of work areas are offered. There is also free wi-fi. Four different Society level memberships, ranging from $250 to $1,500, qualify for this member benefit.    

The Birthplace Home is currently closed to in-person tours on Work From Hemingway's days, so there is limited contact with others while at the home. The Foundation has continued regular live tours virtually. 


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