Novels 1942-1952: The Moon Is Down, Cannery Row, The Pearl, East of Eden (Library of America)

Overview

This third volume in The Library of America's authoritative edition of John Steinbeck's writings shows one of America's most enduring popular writers continuing restlessly to explore new subject matter and new approaches to storytelling.

The Moon Is Down (1942), set in an unnamed Scandinavian country under German occupation, dramatizes the transformation of ordinary life under totalitarian rule and the underground struggle against the Nazi invaders.In Cannery Row (1945) ...

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Overview

This third volume in The Library of America's authoritative edition of John Steinbeck's writings shows one of America's most enduring popular writers continuing restlessly to explore new subject matter and new approaches to storytelling.

The Moon Is Down (1942), set in an unnamed Scandinavian country under German occupation, dramatizes the transformation of ordinary life under totalitarian rule and the underground struggle against the Nazi invaders.In Cannery Row (1945) Steinbeck paid tribute to his closest friend, the marine biologist Ed Ricketts, in the central character of Doc, proprietor of the Western Biological Laboratory and spiritual and financial mainstay of a cast of philosophical drifters and hangers-on. The comic and bawdy evocation of the main street of Monterey's sardine-canning district has made this one of the most popular of all Steinbeck's novels. Steinbeck's long involvement with Mexican culture is distilled in The Pearl (1947). Expanding on an anecdote he had heard about a boy who found a pearl of unusual size, Steinbeck turned it into an allegory of the corrupting influence of sudden wealth. The Pearl appears here with the original illustrations by José Clemente Orozco.

Ambitious in scale and original in structure, East of Eden (1952) recounts the violent and emotionally turbulent history of a Salinas Valley family through several generations. Drawing on Biblical parallels, East of Eden is an epic that explores the writer's deepest and most anguished concerns within a landscape that for him had mythic resonance.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
February 27 marks the great Steinbeck's 100th birthday, and the publishing world is celebrating appropriately. The Library of America volume collects the author's little-known 1942 novel The Moon Is Down along with popular standards Cannery Row (1945), The Pearl (1947), and East of Eden (1952). If you prefer individual copies, Penguin is also releasing top-quality paperback Centennial Editions of several of Steinbeck's titles, which in addition to those listed above and those in the Library of America collection include his travelog Travels with Charley in Search of America (ISBN 0-14-200070-1) and the Pulitzer Prize winner The Grapes of Wrath (ISBN 0-14-200066-3), perhaps the greatest American novel of the 20th century. Penguin, which publishes Steinbeck's 26 works, reports that the volumes still sell more than one million copies annually. Happy birthday, big guy! Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A collection of Steinbeck novels from his last notable period, which ends with his ambitious Salinas Valley epic, East of Eden, published when he was 50. Although Eden was followed by Sweet Thursday, Travels with Charley, the script for Viva Zapata!, The Wayward Bus, The Winter of Our Discontent, The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights (Steinbeck's reworking of Mallory's Morte d'Arthur), and other plays, scripts, and nonfiction works-and by his receiving the Nobel Prize-depression and illness dimmed Steinbeck's flame for his last 16 years, and these later works will not make the cut for a fourth and final Steinbeck volume in Library of America. He began The Moon is Down (1942) as a contribution to the war effort, placing it in a midsize American town under occupation troops, but when it was turned down as no morale booster, he rewrote it as a play set in a nameless Nordic country, then novelized it. Editor DeMott also includes his richly woven short novel, the timeless Mexican parable The Pearl, and the rather sentimental Cannery Row. Steinbeck thought East of Eden his best work. We won't argue.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781931082075
  • Publisher: Library of America
  • Publication date: 2/14/2002
  • Series: Library of America Series
  • Pages: 980
  • Sales rank: 394,233
  • Product dimensions: 5.35 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 1.35 (d)

Meet the Author

John Steinbeck
HASH(0x4b6fa60)
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    1. Also Known As:
      Amnesia Glasscock
      John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. (full name); Amnesia Glasscock
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 27, 1902
    2. Place of Birth:
      Salinas, California
    1. Date of Death:
      December 20, 1968
    2. Place of Death:
      New York, New York

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  • Posted January 5, 2010

    His best work

    I couldn't put it down.

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    Posted October 26, 2008

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