Ernest Hemingway biography

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Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway Biography

Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), born in Oak Park, Illinois, was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1954. Hemingway started his career as a writer in a newspaper office in Kansas City at the age of seventeen. After the United States entered the First World War, he joined a volunteer ambulance unit in the Italian army. Serving at the front, he was wounded, was decorated by the Italian Government, and spent considerable time in hospitals. After his return to the United States, he became a reporter for Canadian and American newspapers and was soon sent back to Europe to cover such events as the Greek Revolution.

During the twenties, Hemingway became a member of the group of expatriate Americans in Paris, which he described in his first important work, The Sun Also Rises (1926). Equally successful was A Farewell to Arms (1929), the study of an American ambulance officer's disillusionment in the war and his role as a deserter. Hemingway used his experiences as a reporter during the civil war in Spain as the background for his most ambitious novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940). Among his later works, the most outstanding is the short novel, The Old Man and the Sea (1952), the story of an old fisherman's journey, his long and lonely struggle with a fish and the sea, and his victory in defeat.

Hemingway - himself a great sportsman - liked to portray soldiers, hunters, bullfighters - tough, at times primitive people whose courage and honesty are set against the brutal ways of modern society, and who in this confrontation lose hope and faith. His straightforward prose, his spare dialogue, and his predilection for understatement are particularly effective in his short stories, some of which are collected in Men Without Women (1927) and The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories (1938). Hemingway died in Idaho in 1961.

From Nobel Lectures, Literature 1901-1967, Editor Horst Frenz, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1969



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True At First Light jacket
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All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Ernest Hemingway but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
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  • Paul Hendrickson

    Paul Hendrickson

    Paul Hendrickson, a prizewinning feature writer for the Washington Post for more than twenty years, now teaches nonfiction writing at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Seminary: A Search, Looking for the ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    True At First Light

    Try:
    Hemingway's Boat
    by Paul Hendrickson

  • Paula McLain

    Paula McLain

    Paula McLain was born in Fresno, CA in 1965. After being abandoned by both parents, she and her two sisters became wards of the California Court System, moving in and out of foster homes for the next 14 years. Eventually, she... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    True At First Light

    Try:
    The Paris Wife
    by Paula McLain

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