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The Grapes of Wrath is generally considered Steinbeck's masterpiece, but the short novel was the form he most frequently turned to and most consciously theorized about, and with constant experimentation he made the form his own. Much of the best—and the worst—of his writing appears in his short novels. This collection reviews what has been categorized as the “good” and the “bad,” looking beyond the careless labeling that has characterized a great deal of the commentary on Steinbeck's writing to the true strengths and weaknesses of the works. The contributors demonstrate that even in the short novels that are most often criticized, there is more depth and sophistication than has generally been acknowledged. The essays examine the six most popular short novels—Tortilla Flat, The Red Pony, Of Mice and Men, The Moon Is Down, Cannery Row, and The Pearl—in addition to the three usually thought of as less successful—Burning Bright, Sweet Thursday, and The Short Reign of Pippin IV. Because most of Steinbeck's short novels were adapted and presented as plays or screenplays, many of the essays deal with dramatic or film versions of the short novels as well as with the fiction. The collection concludes with a comprehensive checklist of criticism of the short novels. Contributors. Richard Astro, Jackson J. Benson, Carroll Britch, John Ditsky, Joseph Fontenrose, Warren French, Robert Gentry, Mimi Reisel Gladstein, William Goldhurst, Tetsumaro Hayashi, Robert S. Hughes Jr., Howard Levant, Clifford Lewis, Peter Lisca, Anne Loftis, Charles R. Metzger, Michael J. Meyer, Robert E. Morsberger, Louis Owens, Roy S. Simmonds, Mark Spilka, John Timmerman
Reexamines Steinbeck's major fiction, discusses influences on his work, and assesses his place in modern literature
This part art book, part biography, and part travel guide offers insight into how landscapes and townscapes influenced John Steinbeck's creative process and how, in turn, his legacy has influenced modern California. Various types of readers will appreciate the information in this guide—literary pilgrims will learn more about the state featured so prominently in Steinbeck's work, tourists can visit the same buildings that he lived in and wrote about, and historians will appreciate the engrossing perspective on daily life in early and mid 20th-century California. Offering an entirely new perspective on Steinbeck and the people and places that he brought to life in his writing, this edition includes a wonderful variety of photographs, sketches, and paintings, including some from private, rarely seen collections. With a new preface from the author, updated details on featured websites, a new discussion on Steinbeck’s ecological interests and activities, and an extended exploration of his many travels to Mexico, readers will find delight in this depiction of the symbiotic relationship between an author and his favorite places.
This third volume in The Library of America's authoritative edition of John Steinbeck's writings shows one of America's most enduring popular writers continuing restlessly to explore new subject matter and new approaches to storytelling. The Moon Is Down (1942), set in an unnamed Scandinavian country under German occupation, dramatizes the transformation of ordinary life under totalitarian rule and the underground struggle against the Nazi invaders. In Cannery Row (1945) Steinbeck paid tribute to his closest friend, the marine biologist Ed Ricketts, in the central character of Doc, proprietor of the Western Biological Laboratory and spiritual and financial mainstay of a cast of philosophical drifters and hangers-on. The comic and bawdy evocation of the main street of Monterey's sardine-canning district has made this one of the most popular of all Steinbeck's novels. Steinbeck's long involvement with Mexican culture is distilled in The Pearl (1947). Expanding on an anecdote he had heard about a boy who found a pearl of unusual size, Steinbeck turned it into an allegory of the corrupting influence of sudden wealth. The Pearl appears here with the original illustrations by José Clemente Orozco. Ambitious in scale and original in structure, East of Eden (1952) recounts the violent and emotionally turbulent history of a Salinas Valley family through several generations. Drawing on Biblical parallels, East of Eden is an epic that explores the writer's deepest and most anguished concerns within a landscape that for him had mythic resonance.
A Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition of Steinbeck's brilliant short novels Collected here for the first time in a deluxe paperback volume are six of John Steinbeck's most widely read and beloved novels. From the tale of commitment, loneliness and hope in Of Mice and Men, to the tough yet charming portrait of people on the margins of society in Cannery Row, to The Pearl's examination of the fallacy of the American dream, Steinbeck stories of realism, that were imbued with energy and resilience. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Provides brief updated portraits of eminent poets, novelists, and playwrights, accompanied by summaries of recent critical scholarship and data on the manuscripts, editions, and bibliographies of their works
Offers alphabetical and topical lists of entries, a Steinbeck chronology, an annotated list of Steinbeck archives, and an introductory essay by Steinbeck biographer Jackson J. Benson.

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