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John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California, USA on 27th February, 1902 in a middle class family. His paternal grandfather had migrated from Germany. His mother was a former school teacher and had great passion for reading and writing which the young John had inherited.

 After passing out from Salinas High School, John joined Stanford University at Pal Alto, spent 5 years there but could not pass and left without a degree for New York. Here he tried his hand in writing but could not get his works published. He returned to California in 1928 and worked as a tour guide and care-taker at a fish hatchery. In January, 1930, he married to Carol Henning who became his first wife. Great depression had set in and jobs were drying up. Steinbeck's father had somehow noticed the penchant for writing in the young man and provided him with free house, food, manuscripts so that John could focus on writing.

  Steinbeck's first novel was "Cup of Gold" published in 1929.His novel "Tortilla Flat"(1935) became his first successful work. His succeeding novels were "In Dubious Battle", "Of Mice and Men" and "The Grapes of Wrath"  which portray the misery of migrant workers and unfortunate men & women trapped in the grip of Post Depression economic turmoil. The titles of the novels were suggested by his wife. In 1942, he divorced his first wife and married Gwyndolyn "Gwyn" Conger. In 1943, he served as a War Correspondent. In 1947, he visited Soviet Russia and would visit the country several times afterwards. His book " A Russian Journal" was the product of those visits

 Steinbeck's writings echo  men and women's capacity for greatness of heart and spirit even in acute adversities. He stood for the hapless and the poor, for  the persons  whom luck had abandoned as he identified himself as one of those less fortunate ones. His most acclaimed work "Of Mice and Men" is termed as a little masterpiece. He got Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962.Steinbeck considered his novel "East of Eden" as one of his best creations. His last novel was "The Winter of Our Discontent"(1961) which dwelt upon the moral decline of America. He breathed his last on December 20, 1968.

John Steinbeck

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