'To Have and Have Not' Is Published

The novel consists of two earlier short stories ("One Trip Across" and "The Tradesman's Return") that make up the opening chapters and a novella (that makes up two-thirds of the book) written later.

The style is distinctly modernistic with the narrative being told from multiple viewpoints at different times by different characters. It begins in first person (Harry's viewpoint), moves to third person omniscient, then back to first person (Al's viewpoint), then back to first person (Harry's again), then back to third person omniscient where it stays for the rest of the novel. As a result, names of characters are frequently written under the chapter headings to indicate who is narrating that section of the novel.

Legend has it that Hemingway wrote the book as part of a contractual obligation and hated it. Howard Hawks, who adapted the novel for film claimed that Hemingway had told him it was his worst book, and a "bunch of junk". It is also claimed that he wrote the book at the Compleat Angler Hotel on Bimini, in the Bahamas.

Death forms the background of Hemingway's tenth and latest book, his only novel with a U. S. background. But readers of previous love & death stories by Hemingway will find in To Have and Have Not a maturity which reflects the more serious turn his personal life has taken in the last year. For the queasy, it should be added that many of the killings (twelve) in To Have and Have Not are perpetrated with much goriness; for the straitlaced, that the book brings to naked print practically all the four-letter words extant, contains scenes in which copulation and masturbation are impressionistically but vividly presented.