John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck

Anecdote 1...

During his later years, when he was famous, Steinbeck’s wife, Elaine, brought home a paperback book entitled John Steinbeck, by Frank William Watt. Steinbeck, who often felt he had been misinterpreted by many of the commentators on his life and work, read it with great interest. Finished, he remarked, “This book doesn’t seem to be about me, but it’s pretty interesting about somebody.”


I shall revenge myself in the cruelest way you can imagine. I shall forget it.

~John Steinbeck

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Anecdote 2...

Steinbeck in his earlier days genuinely disliked personal publicity. After years of penury and unrewarded labor, he finally achieved success with Tortilla Flat and so could not entirely escape interviewers. He was enraged when the journalist Ella Winter, in a profile of him, did not abide by his request that he be judged by his work, not his personality. “What did I say that was so personal?” asked Miss Winter. “You mentioned that I had blue eyes,” he replied.

Biographical Note: 

John Steinbeck was a U.S. novelist. His most famous novels are The Grapes of Wrath (1939) and East of Eden (1952), both of which became successful motion pictures. In 1962 he won the Nobel Prize for literature.