6 best john steinbeck letters for 2022
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Best john steinbeck letters
1. Steinbeck: A Life in Letters
For John Steinbeck, who hated the telephone, letter-writing was a preparation for work and a natural way for him to communicate his thoughts on people he liked and hated; on marriage, women, and children; on the condition of the world; and on his progress in learning his craft. Opening with letters written during Steinbeck's early years in California, and closing with a 1968 note written in Sag Herbor, New York, Steinbeck: A Life in Letters reveals the inner thoughts and rough character of this American author as nothing else has and as nothing else ever will.
"The reader will discover as much about the making of a writer and the creative process, as he will about Steinbeck. And that's a lot." Los Angeles Herald-Examiner
"A rewarding book of enduring interest, this becomes a major part of the Steinbeck canon." The Wall Street Journal
2. Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters
DescriptionEach working day from January 29 to November 1, 1951, John Steinbeck warmed up to the work of writing East of Eden with a letter to the late Pascal Covici, his friend and editor at The Viking Press. It was his way, he said, of "getting my mental arm in shape to pitch a good game."
Steinbeck's letters were written on the left-hand pages of a notebook in which the facing pages would be filled with the test of East of Eden. They touched on many subjectsstory arguments, trial flights of worknamship, concern for his sons.
Part autobiography, part writer's workshop, these letters offer an illuminating perspective on Steinbeck's creative process, and a fascinating glimpse of Steinbeck, the private man.
3. The Other Side of Eden: Life With John Steinbeck
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DescriptionAs the son of a celebrated literary icon, John Steinbeck IV grew up in a privileged world peopled by the literati and the intellectual elite. Sadly, it was also a world of alcoholism, bitter divorce, estrangement, and abuse, on the part of both his mother and father. In this fascinating memoir, the late son and namesake of John Steinbeck writes with great insight and a gift for lyrical expression about his often painful youth. Left unfinished at his untimely death, this testament to his life is here reconstructed by his wife of twelve years. Interweaving her own reminiscences of her life with John Steinbeck IV, Nancy Steinbeck has created an engrossing account from two perspectives: her husband's memories of his chaotic and adventurous upbringing and her own thoughts on their journey together to make a new life apart from the long shadow of a famous father and a troubled past.
4. Working Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath
DescriptionJohn Steinbeck wrote The Grapes of Wrath during an astonishing burst of activity between June and October of 1938. Throughout the time he was creating his greatest work, Steinbeck faithfully kept a journal revealing his arduous journey toward its completion.
The journal, like the novel it chronicles, tells a tale of dramatic proportionsof dogged determination and inspiration, yet also of paranoia, self-doubt, and obstacles. It records in intimate detail the conception and genesis of The Grapes of Wrath and its huge though controversial success. It is a unique and penetrating portrait of an emblematic American writer creating an essential American masterpiece.
5. John Steinbeck, Writer: A Biography
DescriptionDrawing on John Steinbeck's papers and photographs, and scores of interviews, Jackson J. Benson explores the influences that contributed to Steinbeck's archetypal sense of American culture and his controversial concerns. An in-depth study of the shy, private individual behind many American classics.
6. The Critical Response to John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath: (Critical Responses in Arts and Letters)
When it was initially published in 1939, John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath instantly became a bestseller. Like many phenomenally popular works, it has elicited a wide range of critical responses. Some earlier reviewers faulted Steinbeck for his apparent sentimentality, while others were disturbed by his portrait of heartless, greedy Americans. Others, too, criticized his aesthetics. His novel became an important part of the American curriculum, many readers praised his epic vision, and modern critics have tended to respond favorably to his works. But despite the publication of four new editions of the book from 1989 to 1997, its place in the American literary canon is precarious.
Through reprints of early reviews and scholarly articles, along with original essays and reviews of the four most recent major editions, this volume traces the critical reception of Steinbeck's novel. The first part of the book looks back at the first 50 years of the novel's reception, from 1939 to 1989, while the second examines the response to Steinbeck during the 1990s. Some of these later essays reflect on the lasting significance of the novel, while others note that some scholars and educators have questioned its relevance. The volume includes a chronology and bibliography, and an extensive introductory essay overviews the major trends in Steinbeck scholarship.