John Steinbeck - Author Picture

John Steinbeck - Author

John Steinbeck is perhaps best known for Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath, which led to his Nobel Prize for Literature award in 1962. Born in Salinas, California, in 1902, Steinbeck grew up in a fertile agricultural valley about twenty-five miles from the Pacific Coast: both valley and coast would serve as settings for some of his best fiction. In 1919 he went to Stanford University, where he intermittently enrolled in literature and writing courses until he left in 1925 without taking a degree. During the next five years he supported himself as a labourer and journalist in New York City, all the time working on his first novel, Cup of Gold (1929). After marriage and a move to Pacific Grove, he published two California books, The Pastures of Heaven (1932) and To a God Unknown (1933) and worked on short stories later collected in The Long Valley (1938).

Being partly based on his own experiences as a travelling worker, Steinbeck originally wanted Of Mice and Men to be titled ‘Something That Happened’. The book explores themes of powerlessness, loneliness and empathy and received the greatest positive critical response of any of his works up to that point. It has achieved success as a novel, a Broadway play and three acclaimed films.

Early in the 1940s, Steinbeck became a filmmaker with The Forgotten Village (1941) and a serious student of marine biology with Sea of Cortez (1941). He devoted his services to the war, writing Bombs Away (1942) and the controversial play-novelette The Moon is Down (1942). Cannery Row (1945), The Wayward Bus (1948), another experimental drama, Burning Bright (1950), and The Log from the Sea of Cortez (1951) preceded publication of the monumental East of Eden (1952), an ambitious saga of the Salinas Valley and his own family’s history.

He died in 1968, having won a Nobel Prize in 1962.

Author Image: John Steinbeck - ©AKG Photo London

Featured Books, with extracts, by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men
John Steinbeck
Steinbeck's classic is a regular examination set text and no wonder: the tragic story of George and Lennie struggling to get by in the California of the Great Depression, it's a masterpiece, a tale of hope and almost unbearable loss...
Lovereading Price: £6.39 - Saving £1.60 (20%) Featured in: 13+ readers | YA readers
Format: Paperback | Released 15/08/2016
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The Pearl
John Steinbeck
In a nutshell: Iconic | Outspoken | Big Issues | Difficult Truths The Pearl is a haunting and timeless tale of the dangers of unexpected wealth by Nobel prizewinner John Steinbeck, author of The Grapes of Wrath. It is one...
Lovereading Price: £6.39 - Saving £1.60 (20%) Featured in: YA readers
Format: Paperback | Released 04/08/2016
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The Red Pony
John Steinbeck
In a nutshell: Iconic | Outspoken | Big Issues | Difficult Truths Masterful linked short stories by Nobel prizewinner John Steinbeck, author of The Grapes of Wrath. The Red Pony is one of The Originals from Penguin - iconic, outspoken,...
Lovereading Price: £6.39 - Saving £1.60 (20%) Featured in: YA readers
Format: Paperback | Released 04/08/2016
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Of Mice and Men
John Steinbeck
Anthony McGowan, Guest Editor June 2015 chose Of Mice and Men as one of his favourite short novels...."I can almost hear the groans now, from millions of teenagers forced to read this for their GCSE! However, despite being ‘institutionalised' Of...
Lovereading Price: £7.19 - Saving £1.80 (20%) Featured in: 13+ readers | 11+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 26/01/2006
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