Hemingway started his writing career as a newspaper reporter, then volunteered to drive ambulances for Italy during the early part of World War I. Afterward, he returned to journalism, joining the ranks of newspaper correspondents in Europe by writing for the Toronto Star. While he was living in Paris, his life was altered when he joined a group of artists and intellectuals known as the lost generation.
With Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein encouraging him to write, Hemingway published his first collection of stories, In Our Time, in 1924. In 1926 his novel about the postwar generation, The Sun Also Rises, put his literary reputation on an upward climb. In 1930, however, this book was banned in Boston, Massachusetts; in 1953 it was prohibited in Ireland; and in 1960 the San Jose, California, school system banned the book, and all of Hemingway’s books were removed from Riverside, California, school libraries.
Hemingway’s “code heroes” and snappy dialogue brought to life the drama of an Italian retreat during World War I in A Farewell to Arms (1929). The book drew immediate protests from Italians, who had banned it in their country because its account of the Italian humiliation was too painfully accurate. In the United States, the book’s later film adaptation was censored because of Italian pressure. Boston banned the five issues of Scribner’s Magazine that contained the story. Throughout the years the novel continued to be challenged and condemned by public school systems through the United States.
After Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist Party took power in Germany in 1933, Hemingway’s works were among the thousands of books publicly burned. Later, in a 1937 address to the Writer’s Congress in New York, Hemingway condemned Germany’s fascist government, saying that under its system good writers could not exist, and that “fascism is a lie told by bullies.” Hemingway’s publication of To Have and Have Not in 1938 led to more controversy. Detroit, Michigan, bannished the book’s sale, and public libraries removed it from circulation. Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940) was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; however, it drew strong objections and no work of fiction received the prize that year. The U.S. Post Office declared the book to be unmailable.