“All my life I’ve looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time,” wrote Ernest Hemingway. That sense of linguistic newness and wonder, as well as the tightly-crafted precision of his prose style, made Hemingway one of the most iconic figures in 20th century American literature. His adventurous life—which began in upper-class Oak Park, Illinois in 1899 and ended by suicide in 1961—was as outsized as his fiction is lean, and included being wounded by mortar shells in World War I; narrowly escaping death during the Spanish Civil War; nearly dying of blood poisoning while on safari in Africa; and surviving two plane crashes.


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