Working Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath

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9780140144574: Working Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath

John Steinbeck wrote The Grapes of Wrath during an astonishing burst of activity between June and October of 1938. Throughout the time he was creating his greatest work, Steinbeck faithfully kept a journal revealing his arduous journey toward its completion.

The journal, like the novel it chronicles, tells a tale of dramatic proportions—of dogged determination and inspiration, yet also of paranoia, self-doubt, and obstacles. It records in intimate detail the conception and genesis of The Grapes of Wrath and its huge though controversial success. It is a unique and penetrating portrait of an emblematic American writer creating an essential American masterpiece.

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About the Author:

John Steinbeck, born in Salinas, California, in 1902, grew up in a fertile agricultural valley, about 25 miles from the Pacific Coast. Both the valley and the coast would serve as settings for some of his best fiction. In 1919 he went to Stanford University, where he intermittently enrolled in literature and writing courses until he left in 1925 without taking a degree. During the next five years he supported himself as a laborer and journalist in New York City, all the time working on his first novel, Cup of Gold (1929). After marriage and a move to Pacific Grove, he published two California books, The Pastures of Heaven (1932) and To a God Unknown (1933), and worked on short stories later collected in The Long Valley (1938). Popular success and financial security came only with Tortilla Flat (1935), stories about Monterey’s paisanos. A ceaseless experimenter throughout his career, Steinbeck changed courses regularly. Three powerful novels of the late 1930s focused on the California laboring class: In Dubious Battle (1936), Of Mice and Men (1937), and the book considered by many his finest, The Grapes of Wrath (1939). The Grapes of Wrath won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in 1939.Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962, and, in 1964, he was presented with the United States Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Steinbeck died in New York in 1968. Today, more than 30 years after his death, he remains one of America's greatest writers and cultural figures.

From Library Journal:

These journal notations, which Steinbeck used as "stretching exercises" to warm up to his daily 2000-word stints during his five months' labor on Grapes , shed an interesting light on his working habits. His references to the novel-in-progress take the completed novel pretty much for granted--much as a marathon runner is far less concerned with the route and the finish line than with what mile-marker he is at, how his condition is, and whether he will be able to slog out the distance. Few readers of Grapes , with its irresistible narrative drive and effortless panoramic prose style, would guess at the dogged, self-doubting day-laborer's mood of these notes. The accompanying commentary and annotations by the editor are informative, generally judicious, and relatively thorough.
- Earl Rovit, City Coll., CUNY
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United States, 1990. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. John Steinbeck wrote The Grapes of Wrath during an astonishing burst of activity between June and October of 1938. Throughout the time he was creating his greatest work, Steinbeck faithfully kept a journal revealing his arduous journey toward its completion.The journal, like the novel it chronicles, tells a tale of dramatic proportions--of dogged determination and inspiration, yet also of paranoia, self-doubt, and obstacles. It records in intimate detail the conception and genesis of The Grapes of Wrath and its huge though controversial success. It is a unique and penetrating portrait of an emblematic American writer creating an essential American masterpiece. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780140144574

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