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Author photo. Courtesy of the <a href="http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/id?497007">NYPL Digital Gallery</a> (image use requires permission from the New York Public Library

Courtesy of the NYPL Digital Gallery (image use requires permission from the New York Public Library

John Steinbeck (1902–1968)

Author of Of Mice and Men

Includes the names: John Steinbeck, Steinbeck Johann,, Джон Стейнбек, Джон Стейнбек

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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 36,749 copies, 637 reviews
The Grapes of Wrath 32,523 copies, 458 reviews
East of Eden 21,967 copies, 399 reviews
The Pearl 12,380 copies, 196 reviews
Cannery Row 9,419 copies, 182 reviews
Tortilla Flat 5,420 copies, 90 reviews
The Red Pony 5,151 copies, 89 reviews
The Winter of Our Discontent 5,145 copies, 97 reviews
The Moon Is Down 3,192 copies, 102 reviews
Sweet Thursday 2,708 copies, 47 reviews
In Dubious Battle 2,269 copies, 44 reviews
The Wayward Bus 1,975 copies, 40 reviews
The Short Novels of John Steinbeck (Author) 1,583 copies, 16 reviews
To a God Unknown 1,562 copies, 28 reviews
The Long Valley (Author) 1,372 copies, 17 reviews
The Log from the Sea of Cortez 1,363 copies, 20 reviews
The Pastures of Heaven 1,222 copies, 30 reviews
Cannery Row | Of Mice and Men (Author) 965 copies, 7 reviews
The Short Reign of Pippin IV: A Fabrication (Author) 899 copies, 16 reviews
Once There Was a War (Author) 842 copies, 18 reviews
A Russian Journal (Author) 594 copies, 16 reviews
Burning Bright 526 copies, 13 reviews
The Pearl | The Red Pony 413 copies, 4 reviews
The Portable Steinbeck (Editor; Author) 300 copies, 2 reviews
The Harvest Gypsies 283 copies, 10 reviews
Steinbeck: A Life in Letters 273 copies, 5 reviews
America and Americans 234 copies, 5 reviews
The Grapes of Wrath (play) 171 copies, 2 reviews
Zapata 156 copies, 2 reviews
Of Mice and Men | Tortilla Flat (Author) 110 copies, 2 reviews
Seven Contemporary Short Novels (Contributor) 73 copies
East of Eden (1 of 2) 65 copies, 1 review
The vigilante 64 copies, 1 review
East of Eden (2 of 2) 61 copies, 1 review
ROBERT CAPA (Photo Library Series) (Contributor) 56 copies
The Pearl (Macmillan Reader Intermediate) (Author) 48 copies, 2 reviews
Great Modern Short Novels (Contributor) 38 copies, 1 review
The Red Pony [Penguin Readers] 33 copies, 1 review
Positano 16 copies
Of Mice and Men | The Red Pony 13 copies, 1 review
Flight 13 copies, 1 review
Tortilla Flat [1942 film] (Original book) 8 copies
The Gift 8 copies
The Red Pony [1949 film] (Screenwriter) 7 copies
Junius Maltby 7 copies
The Pan Book of Revenge Stories (Contributor) 5 copies
Le opere 5 copies
The Leader of the People 5 copies, 2 reviews
Por el mar de Cortés 5 copies, 1 review
Romans 2 copies
The Pastures of Heaven 2 copies, 1 review
Т. 1. 2 copies
Т. 2. 2 copies
The Grapes of Wrath 2 copies, 1 review
La fuga 1 copy
The Raid 1 copy
AY BATTI 1 copy
Dust 1 copy
Obras II 1 copy, 1 review
Neznámému bohu 1 copy, 1 review
High Gear 1 copy
Stories of John Steinbeck 1 copy, 1 review
Kaçış 1 copy
Breakfast 1 copy, 1 review
Na východ od raja 1 copy, 1 review
50 Great Short Stories (Contributor) 1,158 copies, 8 reviews
Short Story Masterpieces (Contributor) 627 copies, 3 reviews
The Assassin's Cloak: An Anthology of the World's Greatest Diarists (Contributor, some editions) 528 copies, 8 reviews
Great American Short Stories (Contributor) 466 copies, 2 reviews
The Best American Mystery Stories of the Century (Contributor) 436 copies, 7 reviews
Timeless Stories for Today and Tomorrow (Contributor) 417 copies, 6 reviews
Fifty Great American Short Stories (Contributor) 409 copies, 3 reviews
The Grapes of Wrath [1940 film] 336 copies, 6 reviews
A Treasury of Short Stories (Contributor) 282 copies
The Penguin Science Fiction Omnibus (Contributor) 234 copies, 4 reviews
21 Great Stories (Contributor) 194 copies
The Mammoth Book of Arthurian Legends (Contributor) 184 copies
Sixteen Short Novels (Contributor) 169 copies
This Is My Best (Contributor) 168 copies
The Book of Spies. An Anthology of Literary Espionage (Contributor) 165 copies, 5 reviews
Famous American Plays of the 1930s (Contributor) 161 copies
Between Pacific Tides (Foreword, some editions) 161 copies
Twenty Grand Short Stories (Contributor) 152 copies, 2 reviews
A Science Fiction Omnibus (Contributor) 141 copies, 3 reviews
Short Stories from the Strand (Contributor) 131 copies, 1 review
Penguin Science Fiction (Contributor) 130 copies, 4 reviews
An Anthology of Famous American Stories (Contributor) 129 copies, 1 review
East of Eden [1955 film] (Original book) 99 copies, 4 reviews
Great Modern Reading (Contributor) 95 copies, 2 reviews
Lifeboat [1944 film] (Author) 89 copies
American Short Stories (Contributor, some editions) 87 copies
Of Mice and Men [1992 film] (Original book) 73 copies, 3 reviews
Great Esquire Fiction (Contributor) 68 copies, 1 review
200 Years of Great American Short Stories (Contributor) 62 copies, 1 review
Art of Fiction (Contributor) 50 copies
Masters of the Modern Short Story (Contributor) 43 copies
The Bedside Tales: A Gay Collection (Contributor) 43 copies
Unknown California (Contributor) 40 copies, 1 review
65 Great Murder Mysteries (Contributor) 39 copies
A Quarto of Modern Literature (Contributor) 38 copies
Fifty Best American Short Stories 1915-1965 (Contributor) 37 copies, 1 review
The Lucifer Society (Contributor) 36 copies, 1 review
Hard Hitting Songs for Hard-Hit People (Foreword, some editions) 36 copies, 1 review
The Book of the Sea (Contributor) 36 copies
XII Twelve Short Novels (Contributor) 33 copies, 1 review
Beach : Stories by the Sand and Sea (Contributor) 30 copies, 1 review
The World of Li'l Abner (Introduction) 25 copies, 1 review
Viva Zapata! [1952 film] (Screenwriter) 24 copies
Studies in Fiction (Contributor) 22 copies, 1 review
The Wonderful World of Horses (Contributor) 22 copies
Designs in Fiction (Contributor) 21 copies
The Penguin book of the ocean (Contributor) 18 copies
The Girls from Esquire (Contributor) 18 copies
Short Stories II (Contributor) 17 copies
Modern American Short Stories (Contributor) 15 copies
Horse Stories (Contributor) 15 copies
All verdens fortellere (Contributor, some editions) 14 copies, 1 review
Nobel Writers on Writing (Contributor) 14 copies
New Stories for Men (Contributor) 13 copies
Story to Anti-Story (Contributor) 13 copies
Continent's End: A Collection of California Writing (Contributor) 12 copies, 1 review
Uomini che non ho sposato (Contributor) 12 copies
31 Stories (Contributor) 12 copies, 2 reviews
Growing Up Stories (Contributor) 11 copies
Great Western short stories (Contributor) 9 copies
52 Miles to Terror and Other Stories of the Road (Contributor) 9 copies, 1 review
Speeches of Adlai Stevenson (Stevenson: Speeches) (Preface, some editions) 8 copies
Modern American Short Stories (Contributor) 7 copies
Various Temptations (Contributor) 7 copies
Top Teen Stories (Contributor) 6 copies
Snapshots (Contributor) 6 copies
Modern American Short Stories (Contributor) 6 copies
Our lives : American labor stories (Contributor) 6 copies
Life Styles (Contributor) 5 copies
Golden Tales of the Southwest (Contributor) 4 copies
Daughters of Eve (Contributor) 3 copies
Piirakkasota : Valikoima huumoria (Contributor) 3 copies
Vader is de beste (Author) 3 copies
Wives and Lovers (Contributor) 3 copies, 1 review
The Boys' Book of the West (Contributor) 3 copies
Ten Great Stories: A New Anthology (Contributor) 2 copies
Pascal Covici, 1888-1964 (Contributor) 2 copies
Great Tales of the Far West (Contributor) 2 copies
Husbands and Lovers (Contributor) 2 copies, 1 review
Eyes of Boyhood (Contributor) 2 copies
The College Short Story Reader (Contributor) 2 copies
Enjoying Stories (Contributor) 2 copies
Livros Condensados (Author) 1 copy
Modern American short stories (Contributor) 1 copy
15 Great Stories of Today (Contributor) 1 copy
Introduction to Fiction (Contributor) 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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