Synopses & Reviews
Although it follows the movement of thousands of men and women and the transformation of an entire nation, The Grapes of Wrath is also the story of one
Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, who are driven off their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their
repeated collisons against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots, Steinbeck created a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in
its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its insistence on human dignity.
"The first book I remember that really grabbed me was a book that Miss McGuffey made us read, a book called Tortilla Flat by Steinbeck. When I read it, I really enjoyed the book. So I went to her and said,'I like this.' She was shocked that I would show any interest in what she was making us do. So she said, okay, read this. The next one was, Of Mice and Men. So she sort of fed the Steinbeck books to me. When I read The Grapes of Wrath we saved that for last I knew that was a very powerful book. I don't know if it had anything to do with my writing style, or me as a writer, because I wasn't thinking about it back then. It had a lot to do with the way I viewed humanity and the struggles of little people against big people. It was a very important book for me." John Grisham
"As a high school kid struggling to write fiction, some books meant more than others, and some burst upon me with the power of a thunderbolt. John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath was one of those." Stephen King
"It is a very long novel, the longest that Steinbeck has written, and yet it reads as though it had been composed in a flash, ripped off a typewriter and delivered to the public as an ultimatum. It is a long and thoughtful novel as one thinks about it. It is a short and vivid scene as one feels it." The New York Times Book Review
"[T]here are moments when The Grapes of Wrath reads like an early glimpse of what would become the phenomenon of economic globalization." Times Literary Supplement
About the Author
No writer is more quintessentially American than John Steinbeck. Born in 1902 in Salinas, California, Steinbeck attended Stanford University before working at a series of mostly blue-collar jobs and embarking on his literary career. Profoundly committed to social progress, he used his writing to raise issues of labor exploitation and the plight of the common man, penning some of the greatest American novels of the twentieth century and winning such prestigious awards as the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He received the Nobel Prize in 1962, "for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception." Today, more than thirty years after his death, he remains one of America's greatest writers and cultural figures.