“This is the prose that I have been working for all my life that should read easily and simply and seem short and yet have all the dimensions of the visible world and the world of man's spirit. It is as good prose as I can write as of now.”
As often is the case with Hemmingway, the plot is very simple. An old Cuban fisherman, Santiago, who goes out fishing alone. For three months he catches nothing. Tired and worn out he comes home every night, disheartened. Luck has turned her back on him and the old man is disconsolate.
One morning he returns to his fishing grounds, and now the tide has turned. He gets an enormous merlin on his hook. The old man and the fish battle it out in a severe fight. The old man wins, ties the large fish to the side of the boat and sets sail for home. And another battle commences. The fight with the hungry sea eagles, circling around the boat, pecking at the fish.
He ties the boat with its large catch on its side to the quay and goes home.
Hemmingway received the Pulitzer price for this novel in 1953 and the following year the Nobel literature prize for it as well.