In the din and stink that is Cannery Row a colourful blend of misfits - gamblers, whores, drunks, bums and artists - survive side by side in a jumble of adventure and mischief. Lee Chong, the astute owner of the well-stocked grocery store, is also the proprietor of the Palace Flophouse that Mack and his troupe of good-natured 'boys' call home. Dora runs the brothel with clockwork efficiency and a generous heart, and Doc is the fount of all wisdom. Packed with invention and joie de vivre CANNERY ROW is Steinbeck's high-spirited tribute to his native California.
Includes an introduction by Susan Shillinglaw, explanatory footnotes, as well as suggestions for further reading of acclaimed criticisms and references.
In 1960, when he was almost sixty years old, John Steinbeck set out to rediscover his native land.
He felt that he might have lost touch with its sights, sounds and the essence of its people. Accompanied only by his dog, Charley, he travelled all across the United States in a pick-up truck.
His journey took him through almost forty states, and he saw things that made him proud, angry, sympathetic and elated. All that he saw and experienced is described with remarkable honesty and insight.
Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck is remembered as one of the greatest and best-loved American writers of the twentieth century. During the 1930s, his works included The Red Pony, Pastures of Heaven, Tortilla Flat, In Dubious Battle, and Of Mice and Men. The Grapes of Wrath, published in 1939, earned him a Pulitzer Prize. In 1962, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
This classic collection of short stories serves as the ideal introduction to Steinbeck's work. Set in the idyllic Salinas Valley in California, where simple people farm the land and struggle to find a place for themeselves in the world, these stories reflect many of the concerns key to Steinbeck as a writer; the tensions between town and city, labourers and owners, past and present. Included here are the celebrated tales, THE MURDERER and THE CHRYSANTHEMUMS.
Both a fast-paced story of social unrest and strike, and the tale of one young man's struggle for identity, IN DUBIOUS BATTLE is a novel about the apocalyptic violence that breaks out when the masses become the mob. Set in California apple country, a strike by migrant workers spirals out of control, as principled defiance turns into blind fanaticism. Caught in this upheaval is Jim Nolan, a once aimless man who finds himself briefly becoming the leader of the strike before being crushed in its service. IN DUBIOUS BATTLE explores and dramatises many of the ideas and themes key to Steinbeck's writing.
Jacob and Edna have fallen on hard times. They haven't lost everything the way others have, but they have lost enough. When one of their hens stops laying eggs, it seems like the final straw. Jacob is determined to solve the mystery. What he discovers is as heartbreaking as it is revelatory.
This is just one of the remarkable stories in Burning Bright - an award-winning collection that confirms why Ron Rash has won comparisons with John Steinbeck, Cormac McCarthy and Gabriel García Màrquez.
It is rare that an author can capture the complexities of a place as though it were a person, as Ron Rash does with the rugged, brutal landscape of the Appalachian Mountains. At the same time, again and again he conjures characters that live long in the mind after their stories have been told.
Adopting the structure and themes of the Arthurian legend, John Steinbeck created a 'Camelot' on a shabby hillside above the town of Monterey, California, and peopled it with a colorful band of knights. At the center of the tale is Danny, whose house, like Arthur's castle, becomes a gathering place for men looking for adventure, camaraderie, and a sense of belonging-'men who fiercely resist the corrupting tide of honest toil and civil rectitude.
As Nobel Prize winner Steinbeck chronicles their deeds-'their multiple lovers, their wonderful brawls, their Rabelaisian wine-drinking-'he spins a tale as compelling and ultimately as touched by sorrow as the famous legends of the Round Table, which inspired him.
In 1940 Steinbeck sailed in a sardine boat with his great friend the marine biologist, Ed Ricketts, to collect marine invertebrates from the beaches of the Gulf of California. The expedition was described by the two men in SEA OF CORTEZ, published in 1941. The day-to-day story of the trip is told here in the Log, which combines science, philosophy and high-spirited adventure. An exhilarating and highly entertaining read.
Shocking and controversial when it was first published in 1939, Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning epic remains his undisputed masterpiece.
Set against the background of dust bowl Oklahoma and Californian migrant life, it tells of the Joad family, who, like thousands of others, are forced to travel West in search of the promised land. Their story is one of false hopes, thwarted desires and broken dreams, yet out of their suffering Steinbeck created a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision; an eloquent tribute to the endurance and dignity of the human spirit.
From the mid-1650s through the 1660s, Henry Morgan, a pirate and outlaw of legendary viciousness, ruled the Spanish Main. He ravaged the coasts of Cuba and America, striking terror wherever he went. Morgan was obsessive. He had two driving ambitions: to possess the beautiful woman called La Santa Roja and to conquer Panama, the 'cup of gold.' Steinbeck's first novel and sole work of historical fiction, Cup of Gold is a lush, lyrical swashbuckling pirate fantasy, and sure to add new dimensions to readers' perceptions of this all-American writer. This edition features an introduction by Susan F. Beegel.
Steinbeck's last great novel focuses on the theme of success and what motivates men towards it. Reflecting back on his New England family's past fortune, and his father's loss of the family wealth, the hero, Ethan Allen Hawley, characterises successin every era and in all its forms as robbery, murder, even a kind of combat, operating under 'the laws of controlled savagery.
THE PEARL is Steinbeck's flawless parable about wealth and the evil it can bring. When Kino, an Indian pearl-diver, finds 'the Pearl of the world' he believes that his life will be magically transformed. He will marry Juana in church and their little boy, Coyotito, will be able to attend school. Obsessed by his dreams, Kino is blind to the greed, fear and even violence the pearl arouses in him and his neighbours. Written with haunting simplicty and lyrical simplicity, THE PEARL sets the values of the civilized world against those of the primitive and finds them tragically inadequate.
Originally published at the zenith of Nazi Germany's power, Steinbeck's fable THE MOON IS DOWN explores the effects of invasion on both the conquered and the conquerors. Occupied by enemy troops, a small, peaceable town comes face-to-face with evil imposed from the outside and betrayal from within the close-knit community. As he delves into the motivations and emotions of the enemy, Steinbeck uncovers profound and often unsettling truths both about war and human nature.
Streetwise George and his big, childlike friend Lennie are drifters, searching for work in the fields and valleys of California. They have nothing except the clothes on their back, and a hope that one day they'll find a place of their own and live the American dream. But dreams come at a price. Gentle giant Lennie doesn't know his own strength, and when they find work at a ranch he gets into trouble with the boss's daughter-in-law. Trouble so bad that even his protector George may not be able to save him...
Contains an introduction by David Wyatt, as well as suggestions for further reading of acclaimed criticisms and references.
Jody Tiflin has the urge for rebellion, but he also wants to be loved. In THE RED PONY, Jody begins to learn about adulthood - its pain, its responsibilities and its problems - through his acceptance of his father's gifts. First he is given a red pony, and later he is promised the colt of a bay mare. Yet both of these gifts bring him tragedy as well as joy, and Jody is taught not only the harsh lessons of life and death, but made painfully aware of the fallibilty of adults.
Just after the iron curtain fell on Eastern Europe John Steinbeck and acclaimed war photographer, Robert Capa ventured into the Soviet Union to report for the New York Herald Tribune. This rare opportunity took the famous travellers not only to Moscow and Stalingrad - now Volgograd - but through the countryside of the Ukraine and the Caucasus. A RUSSIAN JOURNAL is the distillation of their journey and remains a remarkable memoir and unique historical document. Steinbeck and Capa recorded the grim realities of factory workers, government clerks, and peasants, as they emerged from the rubble of World War II. This is an intimate glimpses of two artists at the height of their powers, answering their need to document human struggle
In his only work of political satire, The Short Reign of Pippin IV, John Steinbeck turns the French Revolution upside down as amateur astronomer Pippin Héristal is drafted to rule the unruly French. Steinbeck creates around the infamous Pippin the most hilarious royal court ever: Pippin's wife, Queen Marie, who 'might have taken her place at the bar of a very good restaurant'; his uncle, a man of dubious virtue; his glamour-struck daughter and her beau, the son of the so-called 'egg king' of Petaluma, California; and a motley crew of courtiers and politicians, guards and gardeners. This edition includes an introduction by Robert Morsberger and Katharine Morsberger.
In his first novel to follow the publication of his enormous success, The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck's vision comes wonderfully to life in this imaginative and unsentimental chronicle of a bus traveling California's back roads, transporting the lost and the lonely, the good and the greedy, the stupid and the scheming, the beautiful and the vicious away from their shattered dreams and, possibly, toward the promise of the future. This edition features an introduction by Gary Scharnhorst.
In his journal, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck called East of Eden "the first book," and indeed it has the primordial power and simplicity of myth. Set in the 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. The masterpiece of Steinbeck's later years, East of Eden is a work in which Steinbeck created his most mesmerizing characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity, the inexplicability of love, and the murderous consequences of love's absence.
This edition features an introduction by David Wyatt.
This collection of letters forms a fascinating day-by-day account of Steinbeck's writing of EAST OF EDEN, his longest and most ambitious novel. The letters, ranging over many subjects - textual discussion, trial flights of workmanship, family matters - provide an illuminating perspective on Steinbeck, the creative genius, and a private glimpse of Steinbeck, the man.
Age can never dull this kind of writing,' writes the Chicago Tribune of John Steinbeck's dispatches from World War II, filed for the New York Herald Tribune in 1943, which vividly captured the human side of war. Writing from England in the midst of the London blitz, North Africa, and Italy, Steinbeck focuses on the people as opposed to the battles, portraying everyone from the guys in the bomber crew to Bob Hope on his USO tour. He eats and drinks with soldiers behind enemy lines, talks with them, and fights beside them. First published in book form in 1958, these writings, now with a new introduction by Mark Bowden, create an unforgettable portrait of life in wartime that continues to resonate with truth and humanity.
While fulfilling his dead father's dream of creating a prosperous farm in California, Joseph Wayne comes to believe that a magnificent tree on the farm embodies his father's spirit. His brothers and their families share in Joseph's prosperity andthe farm flourishes - until one brother, scared by Joseph's pagan belief, kills the tree and brings disease and famine on the farm. Set in familiar Steinbeck country, TO A GOD UNKOWN is a mystical tale, exploring one man's attempt to control theforces of nature and to understand the ways of God.
Roark is a bad man. His pig is a bad pig. They match in devilish temperament and violent deeds. Roark laughs at a drowned monk; his pig eats its own young and turns a boar sterile. As a spiteful tithe, the pig is given to the local monastery. The pig becomes a Christian. The pig is Saint Katy the Virgin. Fantastical and farcical, this short story parodies religious tropes and stereotypes. With a lively imagination and piercing wit, John Steinbeck delivers an absurd tale that amuses and entertains whilst asking powerful, revealing questions.
Elisa Allen is tending her chrysanthemums. Strong, with a handsome face she skilfully and proudly cultivates the best in the valley. Tonight, her husband is taking her to town. While she works, a squeak of heels and a plod of hoofs bring a curious vehicle, curiously drawn: a tradesman looking for directions and a job. He is met with curt replies and a hardened resistance. Then he notices her chrysanthemums.
With his characteristic insight and evocative language, John Steinbeck creates a short story of a brief but striking encounter. Set in Salinas Valley, where he grew up, it dissects the myriad complexities of humanity, society and hidden longings.
In Monterey, on the California coast, Sweet Thursday is what they call the day after Lousy Wednesday, which is one of those days that are just naturally bad. Returning to the scene of Cannery Row-'the weedy lots and junk heaps and flophouses of Monterey, John Steinbeck once more brings to life the denizens of a netherworld of laughter and tears-'from Doc, based on Steinbeck's lifelong friend Ed Ricketts, to Fauna, new headmistress of the local brothel, to Hazel, a bum whose mother must have wanted a daughter. This Penguin Classics edition features an introduction and notes by Robert DeMott.