John Steinbeck

Facts about John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck died at 66 years old
Best known as: The author of The Grapes of Wrath

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John Steinbeck Biography

John Steinbeck was one of the best-known American novelists of the mid-20th century. His frequent topic, in books like The Grapes of Wrath, was the plight of the misfits, the homeless and the hopeless in a fast-changing America.

John Steinbeck’s first novel, Cup of Gold, was published in 1929. His most celebrated book remains The Grapes of Wrath: the story of the Joads, impoverished farmers who migrate to California after losing their Oklahoma land. Published in 1939, The Grapes of Wrath won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. (Henry Fonda played Tom Joad in the 1940 film of the novel.) The glum themes of his stories sometimes earned him comparisons with his contemporary, William Faulkner.

Steinbeck’s other books include Of Mice and Men (1937), Cannery Row (1945) and East of Eden (1952, later made into a film starring James Dean). John Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962. He also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

Extra credit

John Steinbeck wrote the story for the 1944 Alfred Hitchcock film Lifeboat.


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