John Steinbeck Trivia: 8 Facts about the Grapes of Wrath Author

John Steinbeck Author

Born in 1902, John Steinbeck has became one of America’s just treasured and widely-read authors. Here are 8 interesting facts about John Steinbeck… 

1) His first novel bombed 

Steinbeck’s first novel was published in 1929. It was titled, “Cup of Gold,” but sadly it wasn’t a commercial success. But Steinbeck wasn’t deterred and kept on writing; eventually becoming a staple in American literature. 

2) Pulitzer Prize Winner

Steinbeck won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1940 for “The Grapes of Wrath,” which is considered his magnum opus.

3) Journalistic Background

Before becoming a successful novelist, Steinbeck worked as a journalist to support himself whilst studying at Stanford University. He also worked as a war correspondent. He honed his writing skills through these experiences.

4) Friendship with Ed Ricketts

Steinbeck was very interested in marine biology. Through this interest, he built a close friendship with marine biologist Ed Ricketts, who was a significant influence on his writing and contributed to the ecological themes in his work.

5) Economic Critique

Steinbeck’s novels often criticized the economic disparities and social injustices faced by the working class, making him an advocate for social change.

6) “Travels with Charley”

Steinbeck embarked on a cross-country road trip with his poodle, Charley, in the 1960s, chronicling his journey in the book “Travels with Charley.”

7) Presidential Medal of Freedom

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson awarded Steinbeck the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

8) Banned Books

Some of Steinbeck’s works, including “Of Mice and Men” and “The Grapes of Wrath,” have faced censorship and been banned in certain places due to their themes and content.

There you have it – 8 pieces of John Steinbeck trivia.