Ninety-Nine Novels: Two Novels by Ernest Hemingway
- 26th October 2022
- Blog Posts
In 1984, Anthony Burgess published Ninety-Nine Novels, a selection of his favourite novels in English since 1939. The list is typically idiosyncratic, and shows the breadth of Burgess’s interest in fiction. This podcast explores the novels on Burgess’s list with the help of writers, critics and other special guests.
In this episode, Andrew Biswell of the Burgess Foundation talks to biographer Mary V Dearborn about two novels by Ernest Hemingway: For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea.
Published in 1940, For Whom the Bell Tolls is Hemingway’s fictional examination of the Spanish Civil War. The story deals with an American who joins a group of anti-fascist guerrillas in Spain and plots to destroy a bridge to stop the advance of the enemy. The Old Man and the Sea was the last major work of fiction published in Hemingway’s life. It arrived in 1952, and tells the story of an old Cuban fisherman who chases down a great marlin and struggles to bring it in to shore.
Ernest Hemingway was born in Illinois in 1899. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American authors of the twentieth century. His debut novel The Sun Also Rises was published in 1926 and he went on to publish five more in his lifetime, along with six volumes of short stories and two books of non-fiction. There have been several posthumous publications. Hemingway died by suicide in 1961.
Mary V Dearborn is a biographer and has written books on subjects such as Peggy Guggenheim, Norman Mailer, Louise Bryant and Henry Miller. Her biography of Ernest Hemingway was published in 2017.
Books mentioned in this episode
By Ernest Hemingway:
- The Sun Also Rises (1926)
- A Farewell to Arms (1929)
- Death in the Afternoon (1932)
- The Green Hills of Africa (1935)
- Across the River and into the Trees (1950)
- A Moveable Feast (1964)
- Islands in the Stream (1970)
- The Garden of Eden (1986)
- The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway (1987)
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)
- Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1934)
- Papa Hemingway by A.E. Hotchner (1966)
- Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story by Carlos Baker (1969)
- A Reader’s Guide to Ernest Hemingway by Arthur Waldhorn (1975)
- Ernest Hemingway and His World by Anthony Burgess (1978)
- The Paris Wife by Paula McLain (2011)
- Mrs Hemingway by Naomi Wood (2014)
- The Letters of Ernest Hemingway Vols I-V (2011-2020, ongoing, link to Vol. I)
In Series One of Ninety-Nine Novels, we learnt about authors including James Joyce, Thomas Pynchon, Iris Murdoch, V.S. Naipaul and Alan Sillitoe, among others. These episodes are available at your favourite place to get podcasts.
You can join the conversation and tell us which 100th book you would add to Burgess’s list by using the hashtag #99Novels on Twitter.
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The theme music for the Ninety-Nine Novels podcast is Anthony Burgess’s Concerto for Flute, Strings and Piano in D Minor, performed by No Dice Collective.