I] Biography :
John Steinbeck was born in Salinas in 1902 in California. He came from a family of moderate means, that is to say a lower class. He worked at StanfordUniversity but never graduated. In 1925, he went to New York, where he tried for a few years to establish himself as a free-lance (independant) writer, but he failed and returned toCalifornia. After publishing some novels and short stories, Steinbeck became more famous with Tortilat Flat published in1935 a series of humorous stories about Monterey.Steinbeck's novels can all be classified as social novels dealing with the economic problems of rural labour. After the crude and unpleasant humour of Tortilla Flat, he often wrotemore serious fictions therefore his social criticism became more aggressive such as In Dubious Battle (published in1936), which deals with the strikes (=grève) of the migratoryfruit pickers on California plantations. This was followed by Of Mice and Men released in1937, the story of the imbecile giant Lennie, and a series of admirable short storiescollected in the volume The Long Valley (1938). A year later he published what is considered as his best work :The Grapes of Wrath which is the story of Oklahoma farmers who,unable to earn a living from their land, moved to California where they became migratory workers.
Among his later works should be mentioned East of Eden, The Winter of OurDiscontent (1961), and Travels with Charley (1962), a travelogue in which Steinbeck wrote about his impressions during a three-month tour in a truck that led him through fortyAmerican states. He died in New York City in 1968.
In 1962, Steinbeck received the Nobel prize of litterature which rewarded the talent and genius of this great author.
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