Cover image for Ernest Hemingway A to Z : the essential reference to the life and work
Ernest Hemingway A to Z : the essential reference to the life and work
Oliver, Charles M.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Facts on File, [1999]

Physical Description:
xii, 452 pages : illustrations ; 29 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3515.E37 Z7484 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



A guide to the author's life offers synopses of his writings, explores the major and minor characters of his work, and discusses the important people in his life.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The years since Hemingway's death at the age of 61 have seen the creation of the Hemingway Society with a scholarly journal, a newsletter with worldwide circulation, and more than 60 conferences devoted in full or in part to Hemingway. A stream of books and articles have contributed to the mystique about the writer. This guide covers Hemingway's life and works and provides a comprehensive introduction to the author. The entries, from Aachen (a German city mentioned in Across the River and Into the Trees) to Zurito (a bullfight picador in "The Undefeated"), offer what Oliver, a Hemingway scholar, calls "the who, what, where, and when." The introduction briefly describes Hemingway's literary output, which consisted of nine novels, four nonfiction books, more than 100 short stories (including fragments, interchapters, and allegories), more than 400 articles, a play, and some poetry. The encyclopedia itself gathers a wealth of material and makes it accessible through the alphabetical arrangement of entries and, where needed, cross-references. Entries cover people (family, friends, and circle of writers), places, and other relevant topics, as well as characters, short stories, novels, nonfiction books, story collections, and poetry. Plot summaries for the novels, short stories, and play include nearly all characters, even those offstage. Summaries are provided for all of the nonfiction books and pieces of journalism, and there are publication data for the poems. Examples of other topics that are included are Fifth column, a term first used in 1936 at the beginning of the Spanish civil war (as well as the title of Hemingway's only play); and Sack, which covers the bait box in The Old Man and the Sea but which is also identified here as part of Christian imagery. Most entries are quite brief, though those for major works can cover several pages. The introduction notes that titles for most of the works are Hemingway's, but notable exceptions are the newspaper and magazine articles, whose titles often were provided by copy editors. In some cases where the articles were ultimately gathered and published under a collective title chosen by the editor (for example, William White's By-line Ernest Hemingway), the entry indicates the original news headline as well as the collective title. The introduction also identifies how the 30 dispatches of The Hemingway Review are identified, and how short interchapters or vignettes are listed. The entries are followed by five appendixes: a map from Islands in the Stream; a family tree; "Hemingway's Chronology and Dateline"; a list of film, stage, television, and radio adaptations of Hemingway's work and works about Hemingway (with more complete discussion in the text, including cast lists for most productions); and a bibliography. The chronology not only lists Hemingway's significant dates but juxtaposes those dates, personal events, and literary publications with contemporaneous historical events. This enables the reader to see at a glance Hemingway's life as a part of the historical tapestry of the twentieth century. This reference work is easy to use, packed with details, and highly readable. Both public and academic libraries should find this title a strong addition to their reference collection and some may want to add a circulating copy as well.

School Library Journal Review

YA-This remarkable series continues with two authors prominent in the high school curriculum. Students will be comfortable with the easy-to-use format and appreciate the readable articles. Information is provided on the writers' lives and the periods in which they lived. Explanations of allusions, details from the works, and the characters are extensive. Literary information such as form or language is clarified. This is especially strong in Chaucer, which includes the pronunciation of the Middle English. Plot summaries are detailed. Chaucer's lesser-known works and Hemingway's journalistic writing and poetry are included. The bibliography is more extensive in Hemingway, and Web sites are given only in Chaucer. All libraries will benefit from these extensive resources.-Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Published in time to celebrate the centennial of Hemingway's birth (July 21, 1899), Oliver's book is designed as a comprehensive guide to the man and his work. It includes summaries of Hemingway's novels, stories, poems, and nonfiction works; identifications for all Hemingway's characters; biographical portraits of family and friends; and entries for "geographical settings, landscape, flora, fauna, guns, boats, fishing tackle, foods, cocktails, and more." Some entries are trivial. Is an entry necessary for "TNT" because Robert Jordan uses it to blow up a bridge in For Whom the Bell Tolls? Are brief identifications for vaguenesses like "man," "woman," "cafe," or "cafe station" really helpful? Would not the 15 entries under the pronoun "I" referring to unnamed narrators be more useful had they been incorporated into the entry for the work in which the narrator appears? There are also inconsistencies in scope and cross-reference practices. Although Robert McAlmon is mentioned in the entry for Three Stories & Ten Poems, which he published, he does not have a separate entry, nor is he mentioned in the index. Georgette Leblanc has an entry, but her companion, Margaret Anderson, does not, though she is mentioned under the entry on "Lesbianism." More troubling, the entries for Robert Cohn and Harold Loeb fail to directly identify Loeb as the model for Cohn in The Sun Also Rises. Recommended with reservations for general and academic collections. W. M. Gargan; Brooklyn College, CUNY



The powerful, groundbreaking novels and short stories of Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway have had a lasting influence on twentieth-century literature. The 100th anniversary of his birth in 1999 will bring increased attention to his life and works. Ernest Hemingway A to Z is the first encyclopedia to completely examine the life, work, and legacy of this literary icon. The book draws on a vast array of letters, bibliography, criticism, correspondence, reviews, and the texts themselves. More than 2,500 extensively cross-referenced entries include: Detailed synopses of all Hemingway's novels, short stories, plays, and nonfiction books and articles An overview of the critical reception to each work • Descriptions of all fictional characters Film adaptations of his work Paris in the 1920s and other places important to Hemingway Discussions of important people in his life, including family and friends. From students to veteran scholars, Ernest Hemingway A to Z will enhance every reader's experience. Excerpted from Ernest Hemingway A to Z: The Essential Reference to His Life and Work by Charles M. Oliver All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.