spacer Hemingway's high school essay
Hemingway received a "D" in this writing exercise for one of his English classes at Oak Park High School. As the teacher's comment indicates, however, it was not content but penmanship that earned him the low grade. When his work was legible, it earned high marks indeed, and the school's English faculty quickly recognized his unusual talent for narrative. But Hemingway was not only good at writing; he liked doing it. According to a contemporary, he was by age fifteen writing just "for the fun of it."

Young Hemingway's account of a high-school
football game

Image courtesy Ernest Hemingway Collection,
John F. Kennedy Library, Boston, Massachusetts


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Hemingway fishing
Hemingway graduating from high school