John Steinbeck


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Steinbeck, John,

1902–68, American writer, b. Salinas, Calif., studied at Stanford. He is probably best remembered for his strong sociological novel The Grapes of Wrath, considered one of the great American novels of the 20th cent. Steinbeck's early novels—Cup of Gold (1929), The Pastures of Heaven (1932), and To a God Unknown (1933)—attracted little critical attention, but Tortilla Flat (1935), an affectionate yet realistic novel about the lovable, exotic, Spanish-speaking poor of Monterey, was enthusiastically received. A compassionate understanding of the world's disinherited was to be Steinbeck's hallmark. The novel In Dubious Battle (1936) defends striking migrant agricultural workers in the California fields. In the novella Of Mice and Men (1937; later made into a play), Steinbeck again presents migrant workers, but this time in terms of human worth and integrity—a theme he also used in The Moon Is Down (1942; later made into a play), about Norwegian resistance to the Nazis. The Grapes of Wrath (1939; Pulitzer Prize), while treating the plight of dispossessed Dust Bowl farmers during the 1930s, presents a universal picture of victims of disaster. Steinbeck's depiction of the westward migration of the Joad family, and their subsequent struggles in the exploitative agricultural industry of California, is realistic and moving, and he endows his humble characters with nobility. Steinbeck's other works are diverse, ranging from the literal account of a voyage, The Sea of Cortez (1941; written with the marine biologist E. F. Ricketts); to a parable, The Pearl (1948); to a playful French folk piece, The Short Reign of Pippin IV (1957). Love of his native land shines through the exquisitely nostalgic story "The Red Pony" in The Long Valley (1938). The somewhat sentimental attitude of Tortilla Flat appears again in Cannery Row (1945), The Wayward Bus (1947), and Sweet Thursday (1954). More ambitious are the novels East of Eden (1952), a family chronicle with the Cain and Abel theme, and Winter of Our Discontent (1961), about a suburbanite's moral conflict. Steinbeck also wrote notable nonfiction, particularly The Log from the Sea of Cortez (1951) and A Russian Journal (1948), and the screenplays for the motion pictures The Forgotten Village (1941) and Viva Zapata! (1952). Travels with Charley in Search of America appeared in 1962 and America and Americans in 1966. Steinbeck was awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Bibliography

See his letters, ed. by E. Steinbeck and R. Wallsten (1975); biographies by J. Benson (1984) and J. Parini (1995); study by J. H. Timmerman (1986).

Steinbeck, John (Ernst) (Amnesia Glasscock, pen name)

(1902–68) writer; born in Salinas, Calif. He studied sporadically at Stanford (1919–25) before working in New York City as a reporter and bricklayer. He returned to California and worked at a variety of jobs until he could support himself as a writer. His fourth novel, Tortilla Flat (1935), was the first to gain him any critical or financial recognition; it was followed by In Dubious Battle (1936), an account of a California strike, and his well-known moral fable, Of Mice and Men (1937); the last named was adapted for a successful stage play and movie. He lived and worked with Oklahoma migrants who were heading for California (1937–39), and forged what is considered his masterpiece, The Grapes of Wrath (1939), from that experience. The novel revealed, once again, his love of the land, sympathy for the human condition, and his intolerance of the corruption and exploitation of the weak by powerful commercial interests. He worked as a foreign correspondent during World War II and during the Vietnam War (1966–67). His critical reputation declined in his later years—despite such popular works as the novel East of Eden (1952) and a travel/memoir, Travels with Charley (1962)—but he had written a number of modern classics and was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1962.
References in periodicals archive ?
Now, journalist Eric Enno Tamm uses pictures and letters to uncover the story of the great field ecologist in Beyond The Outer Shores: "The Untold Odyssey of Ed Ricketts, the Pioneering Ecologist Who Inspired John Steinbeck and Joseph Campbell (Four Walls Eight Windows, $26).
I can't remember, but I was very fond of John Steinbeck, especially The Grapes of Wrath.
Catherine Reef, author of over 20 books of nonfiction for young readers, believes that John Steinbeck "appeals to young readers because he shows that it is possible to enter adulthood yet never lose the idealism, courage, and natural humor of youth.
Born in 1902, American writer John Steinbeck died in 1966, winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962, and creating some of the classic works of his country's library, most notably Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath.
During the years of the Cold War, John Steinbeck wrote, "Perhaps the entire world needs Russians.
JOHN MADDEN, on what he learned from John Steinbeck, the famous author: "Montana could be the greatest state in the union if it had an ocean.
Messinger closed with a quote from John Steinbeck, who mused that no matter how ugly and dirty New York City is, once you have lived here "no place else is ever good enough.
IN A 1933 LETTER TO A FRIEND, John Steinbeck wrote, "I think I would like to write the story of this whole valley, of all the little towns and all the farms and ranches in the wilder hills.
BORN ELIZABETH Taylor, actress, 1932, above JOHN Steinbeck, US author, 1902 JOANNE Woodward, film actress, 1930 DIED LILLIAN Gish, film actress, 1993, above SPIKE Milligan, Irish humorist, 2002 LOUIS Vuitton, fashion designer, 1892
Of Mice and Men author John Steinbeck was born in California.
London, March 9( ANI ): Actor James Franco is set to make his Broadway debut in the John Steinbeck classic 'Of Mice and Men'.
NYSE: NVR), one of the nation's largest homebuilding and mortgage banking companies, celebrates the Grand Opening of the new Shakespeare, James Michener and John Steinbeck single-family home models at Clarksburg Village, a new master-planned community in Clarksburg, Maryland.