Today, partygoers in Pamplona, Spain, will test their mettle against thousand-pound bulls in the world’s most famous encierro, or running of the bulls. This cherished tradition is the most famous part of the festival of San Fermín, a week-long fiesta that includes bullfights, parades, and fireworks. Though the festival dates back to medieval times, the work of Ernest Hemingway first brought San Fermín to the attention of many English speakers. To take a (literary) run with the bulls, check out these titles.
Death in the Afternoon
Hemingway’s nonfiction book about the art and ceremony of Spanish bullfighting reveals the author’s passion for the sport, which he saw as the perfect metaphor for the balance between life and death.
The Sun Also Rises
Hemingway hit it big with this novel’s publication in 1926. Inspired by his own trips to the fiesta, Sun chronicles a group of “Lost Generation” British and American expatriates who travel from Paris to Pamplona.
Death and the Sun: A Matador’s Season in the Heart of Spain
Author Edward Lewine profiles Francisco Rivera Ordóñez, a fourth-generation bullfighter, as he travels the Spanish bullfighting circuit and struggles to live up to his family legacy.
The Paris Wife: a Novel
Paula McLain’s novel focuses on Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley Richardson, and their years in Paris’s community of expatriate writers and artists in the 1920s. This portrait of their marriage and its inevitable end will please historical fiction fans.