John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck by George H. Rothacker - acrylic on canvas -  24" x 24" - Original painting $2400, prints @$90 each plus tax and shipping (Prints are an edition of 50, signed, titled and numbered with an image area of 13"x 13").
John Steinbeck was the author of 27 books including 16 novels. Though Grapes of Wrath is considered his masterpiece and earned him a Pulitzer Prize, my own introduction to Steinbeck was through one of his later later novels, The Winter of Our Discontent, which I read in my mid 20s. Written in 1961, the novel focused on morality issues, and what he saw as a decay in the modern culture in the 50s and 60s.

Having read the book in the 1970s, near the time of the Watergate scandal, the novel struck a chord in me; I found it to be honest and sincere from an author I knew only as “from prior generation.”

If he had only lived into his 30s, his reputation would have been secure with works such as of Mice and Men, The Red Pony and Tortilla Flat, but his work continued to change and grow.

As a war correspondent, he accompanied Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. on commando raids, even to the point of helping capture Italian and German troops using a Tommy Gun. From this experience came the 1958 documentary, Once There  Was a War. In 1952, he wrote his longest and most ambitious novel, East of Eden, which was made into an Academy Award winning film in 1955 starring James  Dean.

Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1962, six years before his death. Following the negative critical reception towards of The Winter of Our Discontent, he stopped writing after the book's publication, never to witness its redemption in the 1970s. By most crtiics, he remains today on the short list of the greatest American writers of all time.

John Steinbeck
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