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John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck (February 27, 1902 - December 20, 1968) was one of the most famous American novelists of the 20th century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1962, though his popularity with readers never was matched by the literary critics.

He was born in Salinas, California.

Steinbeck wrote in the naturalist/realist style, often about poor, working-class people. His most famous work, The Grapes of Wrath, tells the story of the Joads, a poor family from Oklahoma and their journey to and subsequent struggles in California. It is often understood as a novel in defense of the poor as against the rich. In 2001, the book would be listed as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century as selected by the editorial board of the American Modern Library.

East of Eden is probably Steinbeck's most substantial work. In it Steinbeck stops looking towards social injustice as the source of evil, and instead explores the roots of evil in human psychology.

He died in New York.

Selected Bibliography


  • Jay Parini (1995), John Steinbeck: A Biography, Henry Holt & Co.

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