A Journey into Steinbeck's California by Susan Shillinglaw

By Susan Shillinglaw

This half paintings e-book, half biography, and half go back and forth advisor deals perception into how landscapes and townscapes stimulated John Steinbeck's artistic approach and the way, in flip, his legacy has stimulated smooth California. quite a few forms of readers will delight in the knowledge during this guide—literary pilgrims will examine extra concerning the country featured so prominently in Steinbeck's paintings, travelers can stopover at an analogous constructions that he lived in and wrote approximately, and historians will get pleasure from the engrossing viewpoint on everyday life in early and mid 20th-century California. supplying a completely new point of view on Steinbeck and the folks and areas that he dropped at lifestyles in his writing, this variation incorporates a significant number of images, sketches, and work, together with a few from deepest, not often visible collections. With a brand new preface from the writer, up-to-date info on featured web content, a brand new dialogue on Steinbeck's ecological pursuits and actions, and an extended...

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Not until 1951 would he begin writing “The Salinas Valley,” a manuscript that contains the pain of a bitter divorce, fatherhood circumscribed, and friendship cut short. Published as East of Eden, this novel is tempered by woe. Family dynamics are a central concern in the novel—Steinbeck’s young sons, Thom and John, were very much on his mind as he began work. “[W]hile I am talking to the boys actually,” he wrote in his journal, “I am relating every reader to the story as though he were reading about his own background….

She insisted that both John and Mary take piano lessons. She listened to opera on records and on the radio, and took the children on “enrichment trips” to the San Francisco Opera when Steinbeck was quite young. He remembered hearing Al Jolson sing “Mammy” in his first musical, which played at the Geary Theater. “I had a cloth hat and my shoes hurt because I thought my feet were too big and I bought shoes that were too small for me,” he wrote Esther years later. Olive loved staying at the Clift Hotel, loved being pampered in elegant San Francisco.

His second marriage was crumbling. He was being sued for breach of contract on a film of Cannery Row. What buoyed him during these grim months were thoughts of the book he had intended to write since 1932, the opus to his birthplace, East of Eden. He decided he should live in the Salinas Valley and considered buying property in Corral di Tierra, where his beloved Aunt Mollie had lived: “My hunger for there is very great,” he wrote in his journal. That hunger was translated into story after story, from his college years at Stanford University through 1955, when a musical called Pipe Dream opened on Broadway.

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