John Steinbeck: 120 years after his birth, his literature remains current – Le Courrier des Amériques

In the heart of California and in the middle of the fields:

John Ernest Steinbeck is an American writer, born on February 27, 1902 in Salinas and died on December 20, 1968 in New York City.

Article by Isaline Rémy

Will, almost an obligation:

He studied at Stanford University for a while, but dropped out and went to New York in 1925. He worked briefly in New York American and returned to Salinas in 1926. His first novel, Golden Cup, historical fiction written in 1929, has not met with success. On the other hand, his second novel, Tortilla Flat (1935), won him the first literary prize, a gold medal for the best novel written by a Californian, awarded by the Commonwealth Club of California. It is with this humorous story that he became famous.

Published in 1936 About mice and people and In a dubious fight. Three years later, what he considers his best work will appear, Grapes of anger. In 1940, when the novel was adapted for cinematography, it received the Pulitzer Prize. He is publishing his next big novel East of Eden in 1952.

John Steinbeck in 1930. Photographic credit: Sonya Noskowiak – Center for Creative Photography, CC BY 2.5,

Unusual message:

In his novels, Steinbeck often features working-class figures facing a major economic crisis in California. Let’s keep his sensitivity and compassion for the weakest. Unequivocal truth and tenderness of emotion. The tears of his soul and the contempt for society for the weakest made him a social vector in the noblest sense of the word, and many of his novels were screened by many great directors, such as John Ford.


In 1962 he received the Nobel Prize in Literature and in 1964 the United States Medal of Freedom. His last book was published in 1966, Dedicated artist, a collection of news, columns and political essays.

At just 66 years old, on December 20, 1968, he died of arteriosclerosis in New York City.

His works are read all over the world. The Salinas Museum is visited by thousands of visitors each year. The bookstore, fairy-tale exhibition and videos describe the journey of this writer, who never ceases to question us about the human dimension.

Steinbeck National Center:

1 Main Street, Salinas, CA 93901, United States : Phone: +1 831-775-4721

Isaline Remy


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