'Old Man and the Sea' Is Published

In September of 1952 The Old Man and the Sea appeared in Life magazine, selling over 5 million copies in a flash.

The next week Scribners rolled out the first hardcover edition of 50,000 copies and they too sold out quickly. The book was a huge success both critically and commercially and for the first time since For Whom The Bell Tolls in 1940 Hemingway was atop the literary heap...and making a fortune. Though Hemingway had known great success before, he never had the privilege of receiving any major literary prizes. The Old Man and the Sea changed that, winning the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1953.

Hemingway wanted to use the story of the old man, Santiago, to show the honor in struggle and to draw biblical parallels to life in his modern world. Hemingway had initially planned to use Santiago's story, which became The Old Man and the Sea, as part of a intimacy between mother and son and also the fact of relationships that cover most of the book relate to the Bible, which he referred to as "The Sea Book". (He also referred to the Bible as the "Sea of Knowledge" and other such things.) Some aspects of it did appear in the posthumously published Islands in the Stream. Positive feedback he received for On the Blue Water (Esquire, April 1936) led him to rewrite it as an independent work. The book is generally classified as a novella because it has no chapters or parts and is slightly longer than a short story.