Tue, 04/06/2021 - 8:00pm - 10:00pm



The iconic literary figure considered one of the greatest American writers and among the first to live and work at the treacherous nexus of art and celebrity is the subject of this documentary series.

Directed by award-winning filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, Hemingway premieres Monday, April 5- Wednesday, April 7, 2021, 8:00–10:00 p.m. on WXXI-TV. It will encore each night from 10:00 p.m.-12 Midnight. Hemingway paints an intimate picture of the writer—who captured on paper the complexities of the human condition in spare and profound prose, and whose work remains deeply influential around the world—while also penetrating the myth of Hemingway the man’s man, to reveal a deeply troubled and ultimately tragic figure. The film also explores Hemingway’s limitations and biases as an artist.

Written by Geoffrey C. Ward and produced by Sarah Botstein, both longtime collaborators of Burns and Novick– Hemingway interweaves a close study of the biographical events of the author’s life with excerpts from his fiction, nonfiction, and short stories, informed by interviews with celebrated writers, scholars and Hemingway’s son, Patrick. 

Narrated by long-time collaborator Peter Coyote, the series features an all-star cast of actors bringing Hemingway (voiced by Jeff Daniels), his friends and family vividly to life. Through letters to and from his four wives—voiced by Meryl Streep, Keri Russell, Mary-Louise Parker, and Patricia Clarkson—the film reveals Hemingway at his most romantic and his most vulnerable, grappling at times with insecurity, anxiety, and existential loneliness. 

In three two-hour episodes, Hemingway tracks the meteoric rise and tragic fall of the author who, in his final years, suffered from chronic alcoholism, traumatic brain injuries, and serious mental illness. In 1961, at the age of 61, Hemingway died by suicide, leaving behind an unparalleled body of artistic work and a complicated emotional legacy for those closest to him.