No good book has ever been written that has in it symbols arrived at beforehand and stuck in .... I tried to make a real old man, a real boy, a real sea and a real fish and real sharks. But if I made them good and true enough they would mean many things.Ernest Hemingway in 1954
Written in 1951, and published in 1952, The Old Man and the Sea is Hemingway's final full-length work published during his lifetime. The book, dedicated to Hemingway's literary editor Maxwell Perkins, was featured in Life magazine on September 1, 1952, and five million copies of the magazine were sold in two days.
The Old Man and the Sea became a Book of the Month Club selection, and made Hemingway a celebrity. Published in book form on September 1, 1952, the first edition print run was 50,000 copies. The illustrated edition featured black and white pictures by Charles Tunnicliffe and Raymond Sheppard.
In May 1953, the novel received the Pulitzer Prize and was specifically cited when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. The success of The Old Man and the Sea made Hemingway an international celebrity. The Old Man and the Sea is commonly taught and continues to earn foreign royalties.