On July 2nd, in 1961, American writer Ernest Hemingway was found in his Idaho home, with a self inflicted gunshot wound through the head. He was 61 years old and is remembered today as a brilliant writer, a WWI veteran and an acclaimed journalist.
Most people tend to focus on Hemingway’s rather low view of women or the fact that he, like so many writers we love, killed himself. The truth, as we see it, is this; Ernest Hemingway documented the world around him. Not unlike the great painter Walter Sickert who boasted that he only painted what he had seen, so we feel it is the same with Hemingway. He wrote what he saw in the vast and adventurous life that he led and in the company he kept. Hemingway used plain but forceful prose, with very few adjectives or adverbs. He wrote crisp, accurate dialogue and exact descriptions of places and things. Hemingway’s simple style undeniably exerted a powerful influence on American and British fiction in the 20th century.
During the twenties, Hemingway became a member of the group of expatriate Americans in Paris, which greatly influenced his first notable work, The Sun Also Rises, published in 1926. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954.
Some of our favorite Hemingway novels include For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Old Man and the Sea (for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1952) , The Sun Also Rises and his collection of short stories published in 1932 Death in the Afternoon.
Our ultimate favorite long format piece by Hemingway, is without question A Moveable Feast. It was posthumously published in 1964, and is an autobiographical book based on notebooks he kept in Paris in the 1920s. If you’ve not read it, we are hesitant to say much more about it and encourage every aspiring and working writer alike to READ THIS BOOK!
Two more novels were published after his death — Islands in the Stream (1970) and the unfinished The Garden of Eden (1986). A “must read” for die-hard Hemingway fans.
We have posted this short story before, but we just love it so much, we thought we’d post it again! Our favorite Hemingway short story is only 6 words long and is thought by many to be his greatest work:
For sale: baby shoes, never worn.
Today we encourage our readers to stay up all night brooding and writing.
Challenge yourselves, write a short story in just six words!
Write on in peace, Mr. Ernest Hemingway.
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