Ernest Hemingway is one of the most iconic American authors of the 20th century, having written several classic works of fiction that have been studied and admired for generations. But while his most famous works, such as The Sun Also Rises and For Whom the Bell Tolls, get the lion’s share of attention, there are a handful of lesser-known works that deserve a much closer look. Let’s look at 10 underrated works of Ernest Hemingway that every fan of his work should add to their reading list.
1. The Torrents of Spring (1926): Often overlooked for his other works (and because it was published the same year as the much-praised The Sun Also Rises), The Torrents of Spring is a novella that parodies Sherwood Anderson’s Dark Laughter—a novel Hemingway viewed as pretentious. But the book doesn’t only focus on Anderson. It satirizes many American and British “great writers” of the day, including John Dos Passos and James Joyce.
2. A Moveable Feast (1964): A Moveable Feast is a memoir that chronicles Hemingway’s life as an expatriate writer in Paris during the 1920s. The book is considered to be among the most important works of Hemingway’s career, as it captures his relationship with the city and the people he encountered during this period.
3. In Our Time (1925): In Our Time is a collection of short stories that was Hemingway’s first major publication. The stories explore themes of war, death, love, and loss, and serve as an introduction to Hemingway’s writing style and subject matter.
4. The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories (1938): The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories is a collection of short stories and a play that was published posthumously. The stories explore themes of war, survival, and love, and the play is a humorous look at life in a Spanish Civil War-era Madrid.
5. The Garden of Eden (1986): The Garden of Eden is a novel that was published posthumously, more than 40 years after Hemingway’s death. The story follows two newlyweds, David and Catherine, as they travel through Europe, exploring themes of love, desire, and identity.
6. Islands in the Stream (1970): Islands in the Stream is a novel set in the Gulf Stream off the coast of Cuba and follows Thomas Hudson, a former war correspondent, as he navigates the complexities of life and love.
7. The Old Man and the Sea (1952): The Old Man and the Sea is the story of an aging Cuban fisherman, Santiago, as he attempts to catch a giant marlin and prove his worth. The novella is considered to be Hemingway’s most famous work, and earned him the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1953.
8. Men Without Women (1927): Men Without Women is a collection of short stories that explore the lives of men who have been rejected by the women they love. The stories range from comedic to melancholy, and all explore the different ways men cope with heartache.
9. True at First Light (1999): True at First Light is a fictionalized account of Hemingway’s own safari to East Africa, and follows a group of American adventurers as they search for a legendary lion.
10. Across the River and Into the Trees (1950): Across the River and Into the Trees is a novel set in post-WWII Italy and follows an American colonel who has reached a crossroads in his life, as he reflects on his past and contemplates his future.
These 10 underrated works of Ernest Hemingway are sure to delight readers of all levels, from the casual fan to the most dedicated Hemingway scholar. Whether you’re looking for an introduction to the author’s work or a deeper exploration of his writing, these lesser-known works are sure to satisfy.