John Ernst Steinbeck (February 27, 1902 - December 20, 1968) was one of the most famous American novelists of the 20th century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1962, though his popularity with readers never was matched by the literary critics.
He was born in Salinas, California, which acted as a setting for many of his stories. His novels are called as California novels or dust bowl fiction, referring to the era of dustbowl in American plains. He ahd a wide range of interests like jazz, politics, philosophy, history, and myth. For many he was just a pseudo intellectual, for many others, the authentic voice of Depression.
Steinbeck wrote in the naturalist/realist style, often about poor, working-class people. His most famous work, The Grapes of Wrath, tells the story of the Joads, a poor family from Oklahoma and their journey to and subsequent struggles in California. It is often understood as a novel in defense of the poor as against the rich. In 2001, the book would be listed as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century as selected by the editorial board of the American Modern Library.
East of Eden is probably Steinbeck's most substantial work. In it Steinbeck stops looking towards social injustice as the source of evil, and instead explores the roots of evil in human psychology.
Steinbeck received the Nobel prize for literature in 1962 for his “realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception.” He died in New York.
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Many Steinbeck movies have music by Aaron Copland.