Author Series: John Steinbeck


The Pulitzer Prize-winning author, John Steinbeck, wrote 27 books during his lifetime. Of those, 13 were novels, including the Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men and East of Eden. Steinbeck grew up in Salinas, California, a central California town where his father was also the Monterey County Treasurer and his mother a school teacher.

Living in a small rural town and working on ranches with migrant workers figured prominently in his writing. Steinbeck studied at Salinas High School and attended Stanford University until 1925, but never received his degree.

After failing his mission of “becoming a writer” when he moved to New York City and couldn’t get work as a freelancer, he moved back to California where he held many odd jobs as a tour guide and caretaker at the fish hatchery, and did factory work. He married three times and had the freedom to write and travel because he lived on his family’s land.

John Steinbeck

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