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In recent years Steinbeck has been elevated to a more prominent status among American writers of his generation. If not quite at the world-class artistic level of a Hemingway or a Faulkner, he is nonetheless read very widely throughout the world by readers of all ages who consider him one of the most "American" of writers. Born in Salinas County, California on February 27, 1902, Steinbeck was of German-Irish parentage. After four years as a special student at Stanford University, he went to New York, where he worked as a reporter and as a hod carrier. Returning to California, he devoted himself to writing, with little success; his first three books sold fewer than 3,000 copies. Tortilla Flat (1935), dealing with the paisanos, California Mexicans whose ancestors settled in the country 200 years ago, established his reputation. In Dubious Battle (1936), a labor novel of a strike and strike-breaking, won the gold medal of the Commonwealth Club of California. Of Mice and Men (1937), a long short story that turns upon a melodramatic incident in the tragic friendship of two farm hands, written almost entirely in dialogue, was an experiment and was dramatized in the year of its publication, winning the New York Drama Critics Circle Award. It brought him fame. Out of a series of articles that he wrote about the transient labor camps in California came the inspiration for his greatest book, The Grapes of Wrath (1939), the odyssey of the Joad family, dispossessed of their farm in the Dust Bowl and seeking a new home, only to be driven on from camp to camp. The fiction is punctuated at intervals by the author's voice explaining this new sociological problem of homelessness, unemployment, and displacement. As the American novel "of the season, probably the year, possibly the decade," it won the Pulitzer Prize in 1940. It roused America and won a broad readership by the unusual simplicity and tenderness with which Steinbeck treated social questions. Even today, The Grapes of Wrath remains alive as a vivid account of believable human characters seen in symbolic and universal terms as well as in geographically and historically specific ones. Ma Joad is one of the most memorable characters in twentieth-century American fiction. It is her courage that sustains the family. Steinbeck's best and most ambitious novel after The Grapes of Wrath is East of Eden (1952), a saga of two American families in California from before the Civil War through World War I. Cannery Row (1945), The Wayward Bus (1947), and Sweet Thursday (1955) are lighter works that find Steinbeck returning to the lighthearted tone of Tortilla Flat as he recounts picaresque adventures of modern-day picaros. The Winter of Our Discontent (1961) struck some reviewers as being appropriately titled because of its despairing treatment of humanity's fall from grace in a wasteland world where money is king. Steinbeck also wrote important nonfiction, including Russian Journal (1948) in collaboration with the photographer Robert Capa; Once There Was a War (1958) and America and Americans (1966), which features pictures by 55 leading photographers and a 70-page essay by Steinbeck. His interest in marine biology led to two books primarily about sea life, Sea of Cortez (1941) (with Edward F. Ricketts) and The Log from the Sea of Cortez (1951). Travels with Charley (1962) is an engaging account of his journey of rediscovery of America, which took him through approximately 40 states. Steinbeck was married three times and died in New York City on December 20, 1968 of heart disease and congestive heart failure. He was 66, and had been a life-long smoker. (Bowker Author Biography)
— biography from Of Mice and Men
… (more)
Disambiguation Notice

For the author's son (1946-1991), see John Steinbeck IV.

Of Mice and Men 34,378 copies, 602 reviews
The Grapes of Wrath 30,592 copies, 424 reviews
East of Eden 20,574 copies, 372 reviews
The Pearl 11,528 copies, 177 reviews
Cannery Row 8,895 copies, 174 reviews
Travels with Charley: In Search of America (Author) 7,552 copies, 197 reviews
Tortilla Flat 5,151 copies, 87 reviews
The Winter of Our Discontent 4,837 copies, 90 reviews
The Red Pony 4,818 copies, 81 reviews
The Moon Is Down 2,999 copies, 97 reviews
Sweet Thursday 2,590 copies, 43 reviews
In Dubious Battle 2,139 copies, 41 reviews
The Wayward Bus 1,867 copies, 36 reviews
To a God Unknown 1,475 copies, 27 reviews
The Short Novels of John Steinbeck 1,412 copies, 15 reviews
The Long Valley 1,274 copies, 16 reviews
The Log from the Sea of Cortez 1,268 copies, 19 reviews
The Pastures of Heaven 1,140 copies, 27 reviews
Cannery Row | Of Mice and Men (Author) 903 copies, 8 reviews
Cup of Gold 900 copies, 17 reviews
The Short Reign of Pippin IV (Author) 858 copies, 16 reviews
Once There Was a War (Author) 776 copies, 15 reviews
A Russian Journal 559 copies, 16 reviews
Burning Bright 496 copies, 13 reviews
The Pearl | The Red Pony 385 copies, 4 reviews
The Portable Steinbeck (Author) 288 copies, 2 reviews
The Harvest Gypsies 264 copies, 9 reviews
Steinbeck: A Life in Letters (Author) 257 copies, 5 reviews
America and Americans 221 copies, 5 reviews
The Grapes of Wrath (play) 155 copies, 2 reviews
Zapata 150 copies, 2 reviews
Of Mice and Men | Tortilla Flat (Author) 102 copies, 1 review
East of Eden [1955 film] (Original book) 91 copies, 4 reviews
Seven Contemporary Short Novels (Contributor) 68 copies
ROBERT CAPA (Photo Library Series) (Contributor) 53 copies
The vigilante 45 copies, 1 review
The Red Pony [Penguin Readers] 33 copies, 1 review
Positano 13 copies
Flight 13 copies, 1 review
Of Mice and Men | The Red Pony 13 copies, 1 review
The Gift 7 copies
The Red Pony [1949 film] (Screenwriter) 7 copies
Junius Maltby 6 copies
Le opere 5 copies
The Pan Book of Revenge Stories (Contributor) 5 copies
The Leader of the People 5 copies, 2 reviews
Т. 2. 2 copies
East Of Eden 2 copies
2002 2 copies
Т. 1. 2 copies
خوشه‌های خشم 1 copy, 1 review
Acı Hayat 1 copy
Obras II 1 copy, 1 review
Neznámému bohu 1 copy, 1 review
High Gear 1 copy
Dust 1 copy
No title 1 copy
Bitva 1 copy
Stories of John Steinbeck 1 copy, 1 review
Kaçış 1 copy
1977 1 copy
2004 1 copy
2001 1 copy
2018 1 copy
50 Great Short Stories (Contributor) 1,053 copies, 8 reviews
Short Story Masterpieces (Contributor) 596 copies, 4 reviews
Great American Short Stories (Contributor) 429 copies, 2 reviews
The Best American Mystery Stories of the Century (Contributor) 410 copies, 6 reviews
Timeless Stories for Today and Tomorrow (Contributor) 395 copies, 5 reviews
Fifty Great American Short Stories (Contributor) 380 copies, 3 reviews
The Grapes of Wrath [1940 film] 289 copies, 6 reviews
A Treasury of Short Stories (Contributor) 266 copies
The Penguin Science Fiction Omnibus (Contributor) 219 copies, 4 reviews
21 Great Stories (Contributor) 186 copies
Arthurian Legends (Contributor) 173 copies
Sixteen Short Novels (Contributor) 159 copies
The Book of Spies. An Anthology of Literary Espionage (Contributor) 158 copies, 5 reviews
Famous American Plays of the 1930s (Contributor) 151 copies
Between Pacific Tides (Foreword, some editions) 147 copies
Twenty Grand Short Stories (Contributor) 140 copies, 1 review
A Science Fiction Omnibus (Contributor) 139 copies, 3 reviews
Short Stories from the Strand (Contributor) 126 copies, 1 review
Penguin Science Fiction (Contributor) 120 copies, 2 reviews
Great Modern Reading (Contributor) 91 copies, 3 reviews
American Short Stories (Contributor, some editions) 80 copies
Lifeboat [1944 film] (Author) 77 copies
Of Mice and Men [1992 film] (Original book) 54 copies, 4 reviews
Unknown California (Contributor) 41 copies, 1 review
The Lucifer Society (Contributor) 35 copies, 1 review
The Book of the Sea (Contributor) 35 copies
Hard Hitting Songs for Hard-Hit People (Foreword, some editions) 32 copies, 1 review
65 Great Murder Mysteries (Contributor) 31 copies
XII Twelve Short Novels (Contributor) 30 copies
Beach : Stories by the Sand and Sea (Contributor) 28 copies, 1 review
The World of Li'l Abner (Introduction) 25 copies, 1 review
The Penguin book of the ocean (Contributor) 20 copies
The Wonderful World of Horses (Contributor) 18 copies
The Girls from Esquire (Contributor) 17 copies
Short stories II (Literary Heritage) (Contributor) 16 copies
Nobel Writers on Writing (Contributor) 14 copies
All verdens fortellere (Author, some editions) 13 copies, 1 review
31 Stories (Contributor) 12 copies, 2 reviews
New Stories for Men (Contributor) 12 copies
Speeches of Adlai Stevenson (Stevenson: Speeches) (Preface, some editions) 8 copies
Tortilla Flat [1942 film] (Original book) 7 copies
Various Temptations (Contributor) 6 copies
Vader is de beste (Author) 3 copies
Piirakkasota : Valikoima huumoria (Contributor) 3 copies
Daughters of Eve (Contributor) 3 copies
Ten Great Stories: A New Anthology (Contributor) 2 copies
Pascal Covici, 1888-1964 (Contributor) 2 copies
Livros Condensados (Author) 1 copy

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John Ernst Steinbeck Jr. (February 27, 1902 – December 20, 1968) was an American author. He won the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature "for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception." He has been called "a giant of American letters," and many of his works are considered classics of Western literature.

During his writing career, he authored 33 books, including 16 novels, six non-fiction books, and two collections of short stories. He is widely known for the comic novels Tortilla Flat (1935) and Cannery Row (1945), the multi-generation epic East of Eden (1952), and the novellas The Red Pony (1933) and Of Mice and Men (1937). The Pulitzer Prize-winning The Grapes of Wrath (1939) is considered Steinbeck's masterpiece and part of the American literary canon. In the first 75 years after it was published, it sold 14 million copies.

Most of Steinbeck's work is set in central California, particularly in the Salinas Valley and the California Coast Ranges region. His works frequently explored the themes of fate and injustice, especially as applied to downtrodden or everyman protagonists.
Disambiguation notice
For the author's son (1946-1991), see John Steinbeck IV.

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