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John Steinbeck facts

While investigating facts about John Steinbeck Books and John Steinbeck Novels, I found out little known, but curios details like:

J. Edgar Hoover hated John Steinbeck so much, he used his influence to have the IRS audit Steinbeck every single year of his life.

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Author John Steinbeck was investigated by the FBI for being acquaintances with leftists and attempting to write a novel exposing the conditions in Japanese concentration camps in 1943.

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In my opinion, it is useful to put together a list of the most interesting details from trusted sources that I've come across answering what is john steinbeck. Here are 43 of the best facts about John Steinbeck Biography and John Steinbeck The Pearl I managed to collect.

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  1. John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men was originally titled "Something That Happened"

  2. John Steinbeck, when asked if he deserved the Nobel Prize for Literature, replied: "Frankly, no."

  3. John Steinbeck collaborated with a marine biologist in Mexico and subsequently wrote the book Sea of Cortez which was published in 1941.

  4. John Steinbeck's next novels included In Dubious Battle (1936), Of Mice and Men (1937), and a collection of short stories titled The Long Valley (1938).

  5. The famous author, John Steinbeck, had a life-long obsession and fetish with pencils. He liked his pencils when they were new and long and of different hardness/softness. He also noted that he sharpened and used about 60 pencils a day, and preferred to sharpen them all at once.

  6. John Steinbeck moved to New York City briefly where he worked as a construction worker and reporter for a newspaper but returned to California.

  7. John Steinbeck won the Pulitzer Prize in 1940 for his book The Grapes of Wrath.

  8. John Steinbeck’s dog, Toby, ate his manuscript of Of Mice and Men. There was no other draft. Steinbeck said of the incident, “I was pretty mad but the poor little fellow may have been acting critically. I didn’t want to ruin a good dog for a ms (manuscript), I’m not sure is good at all.”

  9. The Grapes of Wrath was so popular, partly because it struck a chord with Americans at the time, that it sold 10,000 copies a week at its peak sales.

  10. John Steinbeck considered East of Eden to be his masterpiece. "It has everything in it I have been able to learn about my craft or profession in all these years." He further claimed: "I think everything else I have written has been, in a sense, practice for this."

john steinbeck facts
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You can easily fact check why did john steinbeck die by examining the linked well-known sources.

John Steinbeck died on December 20th, 1968 at the age of 66 in New York City.

John Steinbeck's success as a writer came when his novel Tortilla Flat was published in 1935.

John Steinbeck met Carol Henning around the same time as he wrote his first novel and they married.

In 1945 John Steinbeck's book Cannery Row was published, followed by The Wayward Bus (1947), The Pearl (1947), A Russian Journal (1948), Burning Bright in 1950, The Log from the Sea of Cortez (1951), East of Eden in 1952, Sweet Thursday in 1954, The Short Reign of Pippin IV in 1957, Once There Was a War in 1958, The Winter of Our Discontent in 1961, and Travels with Charley: In Search of America in 1962.

According to Conger Steinbeck, the wife of Nobel Prize-winning writer John Steinbeck (the author of The Grapes of Wrath) he told her after their son was born that “I wish to Christ he’d die, he’s taking up too much of your f***ing time.” - source

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John Steinbeck covered World War II as a correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune.

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John Steinbeck's novel The Grapes of Wrath was published in 1939. This novel is believed to be his greatest work. The novel tells about a family from Oklahoma that tries to start their lives over in California during The Great Depression.

From 1939-1945 John Steinbeck was said to have used about 60 pencils a day and used roughly 300 while writing the novel East of Eden.

Several of John Steinbeck's works were adapted into movies including Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath, The Forgotten Village, The Moon is Down, and East of Eden.

John Steinbeck went on to write The Pastures of Heaven (1932), The Red Pony (1933) and To a God Unknown (1933). The reviews were mediocre.

Long time FBI director J. Edgar Hoover used his power to encourage the U.S. Internal Revenue Service to audit John Steinbeck's taxes every single year of his life, just to annoy him.

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John Steinbeck's dog ate his early draft of "Of Mice and Men".

In 1953, a student wrote a critique of the novel 'Grapes Of Wrath' and sent it to the author, John Steinbeck. Steinbeck replied with a letter and the hand-written 200,000 word manuscript of the novel.

William Faulkner was named as the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature in 1949. He didn"t actually receive it until 1950 because the committee could not decide in time who to award the prize to. Other candidates included Albert Camus, John Steinbeck, and Ernest Hemingway.

Earnest Hemingway and John Steinbeck both used pencils to write their novels

John Steinbeck made a roadtrip around the USA in the company of his standard poodle, Charley, and wrote a book about it.

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In 1942 John Steinbeck's The Moon is Down was published, followed by Bombs Away: The Story of a Bomber Team in 1942.

John Steinbeck worked as a caretaker in Lake Tahoe and used his spare time to write his first novel titled Cup of Gold, which was published in 1929.

John Steinbeck, the author of Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath, was a fan of the comic strip Terry and the Pirates, and especially the character of the Dragon Lady. He even wrote a letter to the comic's author about how beautiful he thought the Dragon Lady was.

The granddaughter of Woody Guthrie (singer-songwriter of “Dustbowl Blues”) married the grand-nephew of John Steinbeck (acclaimed writer of many dustbowl-era and themed novels), and they perform music together.

7 authors have had a book hit #1 on both the New York Times Fiction and Non-Fiction Best Sellers list: John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, Mitch Albom, William Styron, Irving Wallace, Dr. Seuss, and Jimmy Buffett.

The NFL rule book is 121 pages long, 18 pages longer than the paperback version of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Before John Steinbeck died, he wrote to his doctor that he felt deeply in his flesh that he would not survive his physical death. The end of his physical life was the end of it.

Poet Chard Powers Smith's 1938 novel "The Artillery of Time" had its title changed from the original "Grapes of Wrath", and was published just weeks before John Steinbeck's novel of the same name.

In 1939, John Steinbeck, author of The Grapes of Wrath, and other writers signed a letter in support of the Soviet invasion of Finland.

The "which way did he go, George" characters in Loony Tunes and other early cartoons are based on the character Lenny from John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men.

Author John Steinbeck used a winged pig as a personal stamp and would often sign books with it

John Steinbeck's first novel, Cup of Gold, is a historical fiction work based on the life of THE Captain Morgan (of spiced rum fame)

The granddaughter of Woody Guthrie (singer-songwriter of “Dustbowl Blues”) married the grand-nephew of John Steinbeck (acclaimed writer of many dustbowl-era and themed novels), and they perform music together.

John Steinbeck was in the middle of the Vietnam war

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