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This essay focuses on the African story in Hemingway's novel The Garden of Eden as a way to explore issues of narrative authority. Instead of privileging the unpublished manuscripts, this essay provides an argument about the significance of the published novel's focus and plot, making clear who and what get sacrificed in the name of narrative closure. The hunt for narrative closure in the published novel parallels the hunt in the African story, ultimately leading to the death of the elephant and its figurative iterations in Catherine and in the characters' explorations of gender and sexuality. As such, the novel sheds light on the complex relations among biographical experience, textual construction, and interpretive practices.