John Steinbeck Book summary

John Steinbeck was born in 1902. Over the course of his career, he penned 33 books, including novels, non-fiction, and short-story collections. Many of his works became best-sellers, to include a number that have been turned into Hollywood movies. Other notable works include “East of Eden,” and “Of Mice and Men.”

While growing up, Steinbeck found enjoyment in reading, as a diversion from his middle class upbringing. Most of Steinbeck’s novels are set in the central parts of California, a place that served as his home for the majority of his life. As a high-schooler, his first works were published in the school newspaper.  

At one point in his early 20’s, he moved to New York with dreams of becoming a successful writer. His work was rejected, though, so Steinbeck returned to California. He then attended Stanford University for a short time, but did not graduate. Later, he would serve as a war correspondent during WW II.

In 1940, he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for fiction, and in 1962, the Nobel Prize in Literature for his realistic, imaginative writings, which tended to inspire social revolution.  

Steinbeck married three times, and divorced twice, remaining with third wife Elaine until his death in 1968.