Martha Gellhorn (1908-98) was born in St Louis, Missouri. In 1930, she talked her way into a free passage to Europe and arrived in Paris with seventy-five dollars in her pocket and the conviction that she could earn a living as a foreign correspondent. She returned to the United States in 1934 and two years later published her acclaimed The Trouble I’ve Seen. It was at this time that she met Ernest Hemingway, whom she married. In 1937 she returned to Europe as a war correspondent, and for the first nine years she reported on the wars in Spain, Finland, China and Java and finally from Europe during the Second World War. After 1946 she continued to report on whatever engaged her interest and concern, from Vietnam to the Middle East and the wars in Central America. As well as her journalism, Martha Gellhorn was the author of novels, collections of stories, novellas, works of non-fiction and a play.
Martha Gellhorn on Granta.com
‘I absorbed a sense of what true poverty means, the kind you never chose and cannot escape, the prison of it. Maybe that was the most useful part of my education. It was a very high-class education, all in all, standing room at ground level to watch history as it happened.’