Tony Castro, author of ‘DiMag & Mick’ and ‘Looking for Hemingway’

“There have been a number of wonderful books about Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle, but none are as good as this one.  I thought I knew everything there was to know about these two Yankee legends.  Boy, was I wrong!  Tony Castro has given us a great piece of sports journalism. Many of the intimate details found in ‘DiMag & Mick’ are simply jaw-dropping.”

                                      Peter Golenbock, author of Dynasty: The New York Yankees 1949-1964 

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“Tony Castro has always brought a remarkable talent for inhabiting the very essence and spirit of his subjects, and the same is true in his new biography, ‘Looking for Hemingway.’ Castro seems to sense that Hemingway is acutely aware of his own impending mortality as he travels to Spain for one last hurrah. Tony has written a splendid and insightful account of that final journey.”

                     Bob Vickreysyndicated columnist

 

TONY CASTRO’s most recent books include DiMag & Mick: Sibling Rivals, Yankee Blood Brothers and Looking for Hemingway: Spain, the Bullfights & A Final Rite of Passage.

Castro is also the author of the best-selling Mickey Mantle: America’s Prodigal Son, hailed by The New York Times as the definitive biography about the baseball Hall of Fame legend.

Tony developed a personal friendship with Mantle in Mickey’s first years after retirement when the two became golf playing partners in Dallas, Texas. Castro detailed their friendship in his latest book, The Prince of South Waco: American Dreams and Great Expectations, a coming of age memoir about growing up in Texas.

His first book was the landmark civil rights history Chicano Power: The Emergence of Mexican America, which Publishers Weekly called “brilliant… a valuable contribution to the understanding of our time.” Chicano Power has been re-issued in a special 40th anniversary edition.

 Castro was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University where he did graduate work on American Studies and comparative literature — studying under Homeric scholar and translator Robert Fitzgerald and Mexican Nobel laureate Octavio Paz. He is currently also working on a biography of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

A former national correspondent for The Washington Post, Castro has also written for the Los Angeles Times, the Dallas Morning News, the Texas Observer, and Sports Illustrated.A native of Waco, Texas, Castro is a graduate of Baylor University and was also a fellow at the Washington Journalism Center.

He was an early board member of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and served as a trustee of the Greater Houston Human Relations Commission. Castro is also formerly a board member of the Los Angeles Press Club.

Tony lives in Los Angeles with his wife Renee LaSalle and Jeter, their black Labrador retriever. Their two grown sons, Trey and Ryan, also reside in Southern California.

In DiMag & Mick, Castro reveals for the first time that the two baseball legends shared a lifelong private friendship that began in 1951 – the final season of DiMaggio’s glorious career and Mantle’s sensational rookie year – amid a turbulent climate that created the public feud that, in fact, never existed.

The book is based on interviews with DiMaggio and Mantle, as well as many of the women in their lives and their friends, and previously unreleased recorded conversations.

Looking for Hemingway is Castro’s biography of the Nobel laureate’s last hurrah — his final return to his beloved Spain, where his breakthrough novel The Sun Also Rises had made Hemingway the Hemingway the world came to know.

For Tony, writing Looking for Hemingway would complete a long journey of years of research.

As an undergraduate at Baylor in 1967, Tony was given a special tour of La Finca Vigía, Hemingway’s home in San Francisco de Paula, Cuba, arranged for him by Fidel Castro. In 1976 he was among the first to view the collection of Hemingway papers opened to researchers by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. He was a longtime friend of the late screenwriter Teo Davis, the son of the American expatriates who hosted Hemingway’s last visits to Spain.

In 1959, the most famous literary figure of his time set out in the twilight of his life to recapture his early success in the 1920s. The experience tested all the credos of bravery and grace under pressure he had lived by.

Just months before turning sixty, Ernest Hemingway headed for Spain to write a new epilogue for his bullfighting classic Death in the Afternoon, as well as an article for Life magazine. His hosts were Bill and Anne Davis, wealthy Americans in pursuit of the avant-garde life of the 1920s’ post-war expatriates, who lavishly entertained celebrities and the literati, from Noel Coward to Laurence Olivier, at their historic villa, La Consula.

This hacienda would become Hemingway’s home during the most pivotal months of the Nobel laureate’s denouement, and Bill Davis—fellow adventurer who had survived the Depression running arms during the Spanish Civil War—would become his friend and bullfight-traveling companion.

Looking for Hemingway explores that incredible friendship and offers a rare intimate look into the final period of the legendary author’s life, giving comprehension not only of a writer’s despair but of suicide as a not unreasonable conclusion to a blasted existence.