Reading Group Guide for A Farewell to Arms Introduction
Ernest Hemingway was born July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois. After graduation from high school, he moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where he worked briefly for the Kansas City Star.
Failing to qualify for the United States Army because of poor eyesight, he enlisted with the American Red Cross to drive ambulances in Italy. He was severely wounded on the Austrian front on July 9, 1918. Following recuperation in a Milan hospital, he returned home and became a freelance writer for the Toronto Star.
In December of 1921, he sailed to France and joined an expatriate community of writers and artists in Paris while continuing to write for the Toronto Star.
There his fiction career began in "little magazines" and small presses and led to a volume of short stories, In Our Time
(1925). His novels The Sun Also Rises
(1926) and A Farewell to Arms
(1929) established Hemingway as the most important and influential fiction writer of his generation. His later collections of short stories and For Whom the Bell Tolls
(1940) affirmed his extraordinary career while his highly publicized life gave him unrivaled celebrity as a literary figure.
Hemingway became an authority on the subjects of his art: trout fishing, bullfighting, big-game hunting, and deep-sea fishing, and the cultures of the regions in which he set his work -- France, Italy, Spain, Cuba, and Af