Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Prize Winning Fiction
Prize Winning Fiction

1953 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Winner

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway


Publisher: Randon House

Length: 99 pages

About: Unlucky fisherman struggles in adversity

Style: 3rd person

Where: Gulf Stream

When: 1950s


Publisher’s synopsis:

Hemingway's triumphant yet tragic story of an old Cuban fisherman and his relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream combines the simplicity of a fable, the significance of a parable, and the drama of an epic.



He was an old man who had fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish. In the first forty days a boy had been with him. But after forty days without a fish the boy’s parents had told him that the old man was now definitely and finally salao, which is the worst form of unlucky…




Within the sharp restrictions imposed by the very nature of his story Mr Hemingway has written with sure skill. Here is the master technician once more at the top of his form doing superbly what he can do better than anyone else.

New York Times, Orville Prescott, 28th August 1952 


Not so good:

Of all the distinguished writers of our time none seems to have become more hopelessly muscle-bound than Mr Ernest Hemingway……We want to read about his characters and forget their creator, yet we turn the pages unable to think of anything but Mr Hemingway himself.

Times Literary Supplement 12th September 1952


About the author

Born in 1899 and died in 1961, joined the Kansas City Star in 1917 as a reporter. Injured in Italy in first world war and returned to America in 1919 and married in 1921. In 1924 he retired from journalism to concentrate on fiction. He was passionately involved with bull-fighting, big-game hunting and deep-sea fishing and his writing reflected that.













































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Novels by same author:


Two movies - a 1958 one starring Spencer Tracy and a 1990 TV movie starring Anthony Quinn






2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner

It's a massive day in arts and journalism because the 100th annual Pulitzer Prize winners were just announced, and there's a big surprise. 2015's best artistic and nonfiction writing across 21 categories were recognized during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Columbia University in New York City. The first Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Hebert Bayward Swope, a reporter for The New York World, in 1916. (And if you're as big a fan of Newsies as I am, that paper should ring a bell, but try to think of it more positively.)

The major prize for book nerds, the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press), a legitimate surprise, if you've been paying attention to the book nerd and industry buzz. The feeling around the prize in the last few months would have you putting all your hard-earned cash down on A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara to take home the award, but that's why you should never gamble. Viet Thanh Nguyen is no less deserving, and moreover, it's his debut novel, which makes it such a wonderful win.

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