The Crook Factory: Washington D.C.

The Crook Factory was published in 1999 by author Dan Simmons. It is based on real events that focused on Hemingway's apparent spy network. The novel reveals an intricate series of events that focused on Hemingway's Cuban based real life spy ring and counter-espionage network during World War II. Ernest Hemingway was authorized special funding to try and uncover Nazi infiltration on the island.

Joe Lucas, an FBI agent, taking the special assignment from J. Edgar Hoover, feels it is a waste of time to be spying on Hemingway and his drinking buddies but soon begins to see there is more to the network than meets the eye. Lucas is often taken aback at how much Hemingway is able to convince the government to help fund the spy network but begins to notice he might be stepping into a set-up. He eventually has to let go of his notions of the author as the two begin to rely on the other more and more as they become more immersed in someone else's spy game. What is first viewed as a humored assignment for FBI agent Joe Lucas; it is soon discovered that Hemingway's spy network has quickly become corrupt with secret agents, murders, espionage and more. The book is a fictionalized account of true events in the lives of Ernest Hemingway and J. Edgar Hoover. 

Hemingway in D.C.

Although Hemingway spent a majority of his time in Florida or Cuba; there are a few locations in the Washington D.C. area that are worth taking a trip to gain a better understanding of the events that took place in the book The Crook Factory.

The Cuban Embassy

Recently reopened in 2015, the Cuban Embassy is located at 2630 16th Street NW in the Washington, D.C. area. It was originally constructed in 1917 and served as the Cuban embassy until 1962 when the United States severed ties with Cuba. The site symbolizes the long history between the United States and Cuba.


In very close proximity to the Cuban Embassy is Hemingway's Bar. Hemingway is highly celebrated in the Cuban history and the bar plays tribute to him and the island culture. You will find black and white portraits of Hemingway on the walls as well as a reproduction of the namesake in a six foot bronze reproduction. Although you will find a number of bars that play homage to Ernest Hemingway, Hemingway's Bar seems to encompass more than just the man but also his close connections to Cuban history.

Also: Bar Pilar (named after Hemingway's Boat) 

J. Edgar Hoover Building

Located at 935 Pennsylvania Avenue, the J. Edgar Hoover building first began construction in 1962. The building was formerly the headquarters for the FBI or Federal Bureau of Investigation. The building however is suffering from years of neglect and has been poorly maintained. The building was named after the former FBI director.

Hemingway in D.C.

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