Sunday, September 1, 2002

Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea published 50 years ago today

First posted 6/16/2020; updated 7/5/2020.

The Old Man and the Sea

Ernest Hemingway

First Publication: September 1, 1952

Category: literary fiction

Sales: 13 million


About the Book:

The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway’s most enduring works.” AZ He wrote it in Cuba in 1951. WK “This hugely successful novella confirmed his power and presence in the literary world.” AZ It was the last major work of fiction published during his lifetime. WK

“Told in language of great simplicity and power,” AZ “it tells the story of Santiago, an aging Cuban fisherman,” WK “down on his luck, and his supreme ordeal – a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin” AZ “far out in the Gulf Stream off the coast of Cuba.” WK

“Hemingway recasts, in strikingly contemporary style, the classic theme of courage in the face of defeat, of personal triumph won from loss.” AZ It “served to reinvigorate Hemingway’s literary reputation and prompted a reexamination of his entire body of work…It restored many readers' confidence in Hemingway's capability as an author.” WK “Many critics favorably compared it with such works as William Faulkner’s short story The Bear and Herman Melville’s novel Moby-Dick.” WK

“It was cited by the Nobel Committee as contributing to their awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Hemingway in 1954.” WK

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