John Steinbeck Biography

John Steinbeck Biography

John Steinbeck was born in 1903 in Salinas, California, the setting for his popular novel Of Mice and Men. Although he spent a few years at Stanford University, he found that academic life didn't suit him. He decided to become a writer, working first as a journalist and later finding great success as a novelist. Steinbeck penned twenty-seven novels, three collections of short stories, and numerous essays between 1929 and his death in 1968. He's best known for The Grapes of Wrath, a Depression-era novel that follows the migratory experiences of the Joad family, who travel from the ravaged Oklahoma Dust Bowl to the “Promised Land” of California. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962 “for his realistic as well as imaginative writings, distinguished by a sympathetic humor and a keen social perception.” Privately, however, he feared that the prize usually spelled the end of a writer’s career. Committed to diversity in his writing, Steinbeck’s other works of note include the semiautobiographical novel East of Eden, the comical Tortilla Flat, the travelogue Travels With Charley, and the nonfiction work Log From the Sea of Cortez.

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