John Steinbeck was a generational writer and novelist from New York City. He is widely remembered for his books ‘Of Mice and Men’, ‘East of Eden,’ and Pulitzer Prize-winner ‘The Grapes of Wrath.’
- John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California, on February 27th, 1902.
- He hailed from a family with very limited means.
- His mother was a schoolteacher, and his father did several kinds of jobs – including working as a treasurer and owning a grain store – to fend for his family.
- Growing up, Steinbeck had three sister-siblings.
- As a young adult, Steinbeck was considered smart but also notably shy.
- At age 14, he was already convinced he would become a writer and would constantly lock himself up in his room writing poems and short stories.
- Steinbeck enrolled in college but later dropped out without acquiring a degree.
- He one time took jobs as a construction worker and a reporter.
- He wrote a total of 31 books in his lifetime.
- His book ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ won him the Pulitzer Prize.
Famous Books By John Steinbeck
John Steinbeck wrote many books during his hay days, and several of them became very popular and are still in today’s society a force to be reckoned with. Among his most popular books include – ‘The Grapes of Wrath’, ‘Of Mice and Men’, ‘The Pearl’ among others.
‘Of Mice and Men’ follows the story of two best friends, George and Lennie, who migrate to Selinas to work at a ranch as they struggle to survive the economic hardship brought upon them by the Great Depression.
The two friends plan to achieve the American Dream, and this includes buying their own farm and becoming their own boss. This plan does not get to see the light of day, thanks to Lennie’s knack for getting into trouble.
‘The Pearl’ narrates the story of a peasant Mexican man, Kino, and his wife and son – Juana and Coyotito. Kino works as a driver but is also in the business of picking pearls by the ocean.
One day, his son Coyotito is bitten by a scorpion but is refused treatment by the village doctors for the reason that they can’t afford it. Later, when Kino finds the biggest gem which is going to make him rich, there’s a fit of widespread jealousy and potentially harmful conspiracy against his achievement.
‘The Grapes of Wrath’ is arguably Steinbeck’s greatest book, selling more than 10,000 copies in only a week and then going on to win the Pulitzer Prize. Like ‘Of Mice and Men’, the book is set against the backdrop of the Great Depression and follows the struggle of an Oklahoma family to survive through the rough periods of such times.
‘East of Eden’ follows the tale of two families, The Hamiltons, and Trasks, through the civil war and World War I. Steinbeck’s ‘East of Eden’ is more of an allegory to the biblical Garden of Eden and the first earthman.
Literature by John Steinbeck
Explore literature by John Steinbeck below, created by the team at Book Analysis.