John Steinbeck Biography
|John Ernst Steinbeck (February 27, 1902 - December 20, 1968) was one of the most famous American novelists of the 20th century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1962, though his popularity with readers never was matched by the literary critics.
He was born in Salinas, California, which acted as a setting for many of his stories. His novels are called as California novels or dust bowl fiction, referring to the era of dustbowl in American plains. He had a wide range of interests like jazz, politics, philosophy, history, and myth. For many he was just a pseudo intellectual, for many others, the authentic voice of Great Depression.
Steinbeck wrote in the naturalist/realist style, often about poor, working-class people. His most famous work, The Grapes of Wrath, tells the story of the Joads, a poor family from Oklahoma and their journey to and subsequent struggles in California. It is often understood as a novel in defense of the poor as against the rich. In 2001, the book would be listed as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century as selected by the editorial board of the American Modern Library.
East of Eden is probably Steinbeck's most substantial work. In it Steinbeck stops looking towards social injustice as the source of evil, and instead explores the roots of evil in human psychology.
Steinbeck received the Nobel prize for literature in 1962 for his “realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception.” He died in New York.
Cup of Gold: A Life of Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer, With Occasional Reference to History 1929 ISBN 014018743X
The Pastures of Heaven 1932
The Red Pony 1933
To A God Unknown 1933
Tortilla Flat 1935
In Dubious Battle 1936 The title is a reference to John Milton's "Paradise Lost".
Of Mice and Men 1937 The title is a reference to the Robert Burns poem "To a Mouse".
The Long Valley 1938
The Grapes of Wrath 1939
Forgotten Village 1941
Sea of Cortez: A Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research 1941 with Edward F. Ricketts.
The Moon Is Down 1942
Bombs Away: The Story of a Bomber Team 1942
Cannery Row 1945
The Pearl 1947
The Wayward Bus 1947
A Russian Journal 1948 Robert Capa (Photographer)
Burning Bright: A Play in Story Form 1950
Log from the Sea of Cortez 1951
East of Eden 1952
Sweet Thursday 1954
The Short Reign of Pippin IV 1957
Once There Was A War 1958
Winter of Our Discontent 1961 The title is a reference to the William Shakespeare play "King Richard the Third".
Travels With Charley: In Search of America 1962 (a semi-documentary work about his late-life car trip, with his poodle Charley, around the United States.)
America and Americans 1966
Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters 1969
Viva Zapata! the Original Screenplay 1975
The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights 1976
Working Days: The Journals of the Grapes of Wrath 1938-1941 1989
The Harvest Gypsies: On the Road to the Grapes of Wrath [newspaper articles, 1936]
Many Steinbeck movies have music by Aaron Copland.
|John Steinbeck Resources