cover image: We Were the Bullfighters


We Were the Bullfighters

28 May 2024

“A window into Canada's role in the making of Ernest Hemingway in clear, clean prose.” — Lee Gowan, author of The Beautiful Place

Sent to cover bank robber Red Ryan’s daring prison break, a young Ernest Hemingway becomes fascinated with the convict.

In 1923, Ernest Hemingway, struggling with the responsibilities of marriage and unexpected fatherhood, has just made a big mistake. He decided that for the baby’s first year he would interrupt his fledgling writing career in Paris and move his family to North America. No longer a freelancer, he now has a gruelling job with a difficult boss, as a staff reporter for the Toronto Daily Star. On his first day, already feeling hemmed in by circumstances, he’s sent to cover a prison break at Kingston Pen.

The escaped convicts, led by notorious bank robber Norman “Red” Ryan, are on the run, making their way from the bush north of Kingston, to the streets of Toronto, and then through towns and cities across the United States. Their crimes become more brazen, their lifestyle increasingly glamorous. Growing more and more preoccupied with Ryan and his willingness to risk everything to be free, Hemingway ponders duty, freedom, and what stops a man from pursuing his dreams.


Marianne K. Miller

Published in
Toronto, CA

Table of Contents