The Ex-pats Go to War

Hemingway, Paris and the Recovery of American Identity


  • Hayder Naji Shanbooj Alolaiwi Iraqi Ministry of Education-Al Qadissiya Directorate of Public Education



America, Europe, exile, Hemingway (Ernest), identity, Lost Generation, war


The present research is devoted to the post-WWI social and cultural milieu that made possible the intellectual and artistic effervescence characterizing the literary production of the American ex-pat writers in Paris during the 1920s and 1930s. The research is structured in an Introduction, four chapters, and Conclusion. After a necessary general presentation, the researcher goes deeper into the analysis of the identity crisis experienced by several American writers in exile, whom Gertrude Stein, herself an ex-pat, called “the Lost Generation” – among them, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos, Sinclair Lewis, and Samuel Putnam. Starting from the assumption that by discovering Europe, the American writers discovered themselves, the researcher chose Hemingway to represent the post-WWI generation of American ex-pats and followed the writer’s search for identity, seen as a process of singularization based on recognizing that we share a common origin or circumstances with another person or community. Ample space is devoted to Hemingway’s novel The Sun Also Rises, where a feeling of uselessness and nonsense accompanies the characters. Having (re)discovered their identity in Paris, many returned to their native America, rediscovering her as more disappointing than expected.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Hayder Naji Shanbooj Alolaiwi, Iraqi Ministry of Education-Al Qadissiya Directorate of Public Education

Teacher at Ghareeb-Tus Intermediate school for boys


Arendt, H. (1998). The Human Condition. The University of Chicago Press.

Baker, C. (Ed.) (1981). “The Private Hemingway,” excerpts from Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters, 1917-1961, edited by Carlos Baker, from the 15 Feb. 1981 New York Times

Barrett, W. (1972). Time of Need: Forms of Imagination in the Twentieth Century. Harper & Row.

Fitzgerald, F. S. (2010). This Side of Paradise. Penguin Classics. (Original work published 1920)

Fitzgerald, F. S. Tender is the Night. (2003). Scribner. (Original Work published 1934)

Hall, S., & du Gay, P. (eds.). (1996). Questions of Cultural Identity. Sage.

Hemingway, E. (1954). The Sun Also Rises. Scribner. (Original work published 1926)

Hemingway, E. (1996). A Moveable Feast. Arrow Books Limited. (Original work published 1964)

Hemingway, E. (2003). A Farewell to Arms. Scribner. (Original work published 1929)

Hemingway, E. (2003). The Garden of Eden. Scribner. (Original work published 1986)

King James Bible. (2008). Oxford University Press. (Original work published 1769)

Lennox, S. (1977). “We Could Have Had Such a Damned Good Time Together”: Individual and Society in “The Sun Also Rises” and “Mutmassungen über Jakob.” Modern Language Studies, 7(1), 82–90.

McMahon, J. H. (1964). “City for Expatriates.” Yale French Studies, 32, 144–158.

Meyers, J. (1994). Scott Fitzgerald. A Biography. MacMillan.

Putnam, S. (1947). Paris Was Our Mistress: Memoirs of a Lost and Found Generation. Viking.

Stein, G. (1996). Paris. France. Liveright.

Taylor, K. (2002). Sometimes Madness Is Wisdom: Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald: A Marriage. Robson.

Trogdon, R. W. (1999). Ernest Hemingway: A Literary Reference. Carroll & Graf Publishers.

Williams, R. (1977). Marxism and Literature. Oxford University Press.




How to Cite

Alolaiwi, H. N. S. (2023). The Ex-pats Go to War: Hemingway, Paris and the Recovery of American Identity. Al-Adab Journal, 1(144), 11–28.



English linguistics and literature