“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.”
John SteinbeckCurious facts about:
(1902 - 1968)
(1902 - 1968)
For awhile, Steinbeck tried to make a go out of a writing career in New York City, but it just didn’t pan out for him. He was working full time as a construction worker and could only find some passing work as a newspaper reporter. Steinbeck decided to take a job in Lake Tahoe as a caretaker and that’s when he wrote his first novel in his spare time. He didn’t receive any decent reviews of his first novels, however, and didn’t find any real commercial success until 1935.
When it was first published, The Grapes of Wrath was banned by certain libraries. The book was burned in several districts, with censors citing coarse language, references to sex, and anti-establishment tones as the reason for its suppression. The suggestion that capitalism could result in poverty and forced migration was considered sympathetic to communism.
Steinbeck hand-wrote all his manuscripts---in pencil---on lined yellow paper. Steinbeck used as many as 60 pencils each day. The pages were then typed out by staff at Viking Press, his publisher. According to Steinbeck's own records, East of Eden took one year of uninterrupted writing, 25 dozen pencils and about 36 reams of paper to complete.
For a time, Steinbeck and his first wife, Carol Henning, kept two mallard ducks in the fishpond of their California home. Unfortunately, the ducks, named Aqua and Vita, were later sold so the couple could afford writing paper for Steinbeck’s manuscript, To a God Unknown.