The truest first edition of The Old Man and The Sea is a 57-year old copy of Life magazine. That’s right. The book for which Hemingway won the 1953 Nobel Prize in Literature was first published as a magazine article.
The Old Man and The Sea is a novella, as are:
John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men
Herman Melville’s Billy Budd,
George Orwell’s Animal Farm,
Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s,
Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde,
Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, and
Jack Kerouac’s The Subterraneans
What the heck is a novella, anyway?
One definition says a novella is a novel of 17,500 to 40,000 words.
Warren Cariou, professor of English
at the University of Manitoba,
offers a definition I like better:
“The novella usually lacks the subplots, the multiple points of view and the generic adaptability that are common in the novel. It is most often concerned with personal and emotional development rather than with the larger social sphere. The novella generally retains something of the unity of impression that is a hallmark of the short story, but it also contains more highly developed characterization and more luxuriant description.”