Authors > John Steinbeck

His major novels center on a message of warmth and compassion toward the downtrodden. The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men both set during 1930s depression era California are two well known classics. But it was East of Eden, written at the end of his career that he viewed as his masterpiece.

"Steinbeck remains our great social realist novelist, the writer who gave the dispossessed and the disenfranchised a voice in American life and letters." -- William Souder. Mad at the World: A Life of John Steinbeck

Featured Titles:

The Grapes of Wrath

The story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads--driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity.

Year: 1939     Genre:

The Pearl

When the news of Kino's great find -- the "Pearl of the World" -- spreads through the small town, no one suspects its power to deceive, to corrupt, to destroy. Like his father and grandfather before him, Kino is a poor diver, gathering pearls from the Gulf beds that once brought great wealth to the Kings of Spain and now provide Kino, Juana, and their infant son with meager subsistence.

Year: 1947     Genre: Literature

East of Eden

The masterpiece of Steinbeck's later years -- a powerful and vastly ambitious novel that is at once a family saga and a modern retelling of the Book of Genesis. Set in rich farmland of California's Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families--the Trasks and the Hamiltons--whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.

Year: 1952     Genre: Family Saga

Travels with Charley

In September 1960, John Steinbeck embarked on a journey across America. He felt that he might have lost touch with the country, with its speech, the smell of its grass and trees, its color and quality of light, the pulse of its people. To reassure himself, he set out on a voyage of rediscovery of the American identity, accompanied by a distinguished French poodle named Charley; and riding in a three-quarter-ton pickup truck named Rocinante.

Year: 1962     Genre:

Feb 27, 1902 -- Dec 20, 1968

Series & Characters

See Also



Got ItWant ItRead ItYearTitle

-- -- --1935Tortilla Flat 
-- -- --1936In Dubious Battle Dustbowl Trilogy
-- -- --1937Of Mice and Men Dustbowl Trilogy
-- -- --1939The Grapes of Wrath Dustbowl Trilogy
-- -- --1945Cannery Row 
-- -- --1945The Red Pony 
-- -- --1947The Pearl 
-- -- --1952East of Eden 
-- -- --1962Travels with Charley
In Search of America
-- -- --2020Mad at the World
A Life of John Steinbeck
by William SouderNon-Fiction