Ernest Hemingway

Sara Kosiba

in American Literature

ISBN: 9780199827251
Published online August 2012 | | DOI:
Ernest Hemingway


Ernest Hemingway (b. 1899–d. 1961) was born in Oak Park, Illinois, and spent his formative years there. In addition he spent summers with his family in northern Michigan, a setting that later became the focus of much of his fiction. Hemingway’s search for knowledge and adventure after high school led him to a brief job reporting for the Kansas City Star, and in 1918, during World War I, he enlisted in the American Red Cross. He was wounded in Italy a few months after enlisting and returned to Oak Park profoundly influenced by the experience. In 1921 Hemingway returned to Europe, where he served as a roving correspondent for the Toronto Star and began to refine his craft as a writer with two collections of stories published by Parisian presses. His first American publication was In Our Time (1925), a series of stories and vignettes based on his experiences of northern Michigan and his reporting and travels. The Torrents of Spring (1926), a Michigan-based story and parody of the work of Sherwood Anderson and Gertrude Stein, was a symbol of Hemingway’s break with his mentors and with his initial publisher, Boni and Liveright. All of Hemingway’s major work from that point on was published by Charles Scribner’s Sons, where he formed a famous friendship with the editor Maxwell Perkins. Hemingway’s career took off with the publication of The Sun Also Rises (1926), an insightful portrayal of American expatriate life in Europe in the 1920s and one of the first books to show his strong interest in the Spanish bullfighting tradition. A Farewell to Arms (1929), based in part on Hemingway’s own World War I experiences in Italy, became a best seller and helped cement his name in the literary world. Several other novels followed: To Have and Have Not (1937); his Key West novel For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940), which used material from the Spanish Civil War; and Across the River and Into the Trees (1950), set in Italy after World War II. In 1952 The Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer Prize, and in 1954 Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. His prolific literary contributions also include collections of short stories, many of which have appeared in anthologies and textbooks. He also published nonfiction, memoirs, and essays, often about hunting, fishing, and bullfighting, all activities long associated with Hemingway’s life and career. His literary career continued to expand even after his death, with several of his manuscripts adapted into posthumous publications, including A Moveable Feast (1964, revised edition 2009), his memoir of Paris in the 1920s.

Article.  9588 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (American)

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