Ernest Hemingway

(1899 – 1961)

Ernest HemingwayBiographical Sketch

Ernest Miller Hemingway (Oak Park, IL, USA, July 21, 1899 – Ketchum, ID, USA, July 2, 1961) was an American author and journalist. His economical and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short story collections, and two non-fiction works. Three novels, four collections of short stories, and three non-fiction works were published posthumously. Many of these are considered classics of American literature.

Hemingway was raised in Oak Park, Illinois. After high school he reported for a few months for The Kansas City Star, before leaving for the Italian front to enlist with the World War I ambulance drivers. In 1918, he was seriously wounded and returned home. His wartime experiences formed the basis for his novel A Farewell to Arms. In 1921 he married Hadley Richardson, the first of his four wives. The couple moved to Paris, where he worked as a foreign correspondent, and fell under the influence of the modernist writers and artists of the 1920s “Lost Generation” expatriate community. The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway’s first novel, was published in 1926.

After his 1927 divorce from Hadley Richardson, Hemingway married Pauline Pfeiffer. They divorced after he returned from the Spanish Civil War where he had been a journalist, and after which he wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls. Martha Gellhorn became his third wife in 1940. They separated when he met Mary Welsh in London during World War II. He was present at the Normandy Landings and the liberation of Paris.

Shortly after the publication of The Old Man and the Sea in 1952, Hemingway went on safari to Africa, where he was almost killed in two successive plane crashes that left him in pain or ill health for much of the rest of his life. Hemingway had permanent residences in Key West, Florida (1930s), and Cuba (1940s and 1950s). In 1959 he bought a house in Ketchum, Idaho, where he committed suicide in the summer of 1961.

Read more about Ernest Hemingway on Wikipedia.


Major Awards and Honors

Nobel Prize for Literature
  • 1954
Pulitzer Prize (USA)
  • 1953: Fiction – “The Old Man and the Sea”
O. Henry Award for Short Fiction
  • 1927: Second Prize – “The Killers” (published in Scribner’s Magazine)
Premio Bancarella (Italy)
  • 1953: “The Old Man and the Sea”



Novels and Novellas
  • The Torrents of Spring (1926)
  • The Sun Also Rises (1926)
    A/K/A: Fiesta
  • A Farewell to Arms (1929)
  • Death in the Afternoon (1932)
  • Green Hills of Africa (1935)
  • To Have and Have Not (1937)
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940)
  • Across the River and into the Trees (1950)
  • The Old Man and the Sea (1952)
  • Islands in the Stream (1970)
  • The Garden of Eden (1986)
Short Story Collections
  • Three Stories and Ten Poems (1923)
  • In Our Time (1924)
  • Men Without Women (1927)
  • The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories (1930)
  • Winner Take Nothing (1933)
  • The Fifth Column and Four Stories of the Spanish Civil War (1938)
  • Snows of Kilimanjaro (1953)
  • The Nick Adams Stories (1972)
  • The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway, Finca Vigia Edition (1987)
  • 88 Poems (1979)
  • Complete Poems (1992)
Journalism, Memoirs and Correspondence
  • Bullfighting, Sport & Industry (1930)
  • A Moveable Feast (1960)
  • By-Line: Selected Articles and Dispatches of Four Decades (1967)
  • Selected Letters (1981)
  • Ernest Hemingway On Writing (1984)
  • The Dangerous Summer (1985)
  • Dateline: Toronto; The Complete Toronto Star Dispatches, 1920-1924 (1985)
  • Conversations With Ernest Hemingway (1986)
  • True at First Light (1999)
  • At the Hemingways: With Fifty Years of Correspondence between Ernest and Marcelline Hemingway (1999)
  • The Only Thing That Counts: The Ernest Hemingway/Maxwell Perkins Correspondence, 1925 – 1947 (1999)
Anthologies and Compilations
  • Men at War (1942)
  • The Hemingway Reader (1953)
  • The Wild Years (1962)
  • Hemingway on Fishing (2000)
  • Hemingway on Hunting (2001)
  • Hemingway on War (2004)
Online editions of Ernest Hemingway’s works


A Selection of Quotes

A Moveable Feast

All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”

Old Newsman Writes: A Letter from Cuba (Esquire, December 1934)

All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.”

Interview with Paris Review (1958)

“There is seven-eights of it under water for every part that shows. Anything you know you can eliminate and it only strengthens your iceberg. It is the part that doesn’t show. If a writer omits something because he does not know it then there is a hole in the story.”

Selected Letters 1917-1961

“One cat just leads to another.”
[Letter from Finca Vigia, Cuba, to his first wife, Elizabeth Hadley Richardson (1943).]

Foreword, “Treasury for the Free World” (Ben Roeburn, ed., 1946)

“Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.”

Unsourced/ -attributed:

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

“A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.”

Find more quotes by Ernest Hemingway on Wikiquote and Goodreads.