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16 Books Hemingway Considered Essential Reading

In the spring of 1934, a twenty-two year old aspiring writer named Arnold Samuelson journeyed to Key West to meet his idol, Ernest Hemingway. Samuelson asked Hemingway his advice on how he too could become a great writer. Hemingway drew up a list of sixteen stories and novels and told Samuelson if he read all of them he would be off to a good start.

Here’s Hemingway’s list:

  1. The Blue Hotel by Stephen Crane

  2. The Open Boat by Stephen Crane

  3. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

  4. Dubliners by James Joyce

  5. The Red and the Black by Stendhal

  6. Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham

  7. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

  8. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

  9. Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann

  10. Hail and Farewell by George Moore

  11. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

  12. The Oxford Book of English Verse

  13. The Enormous Room by E.E. Cummings

  14. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

  15. Far Away and Long Ago by W.H. Hudson

  16. The American by Henry James

What books would make your list?


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