John SteinbeckJohn Steinbeck was an American author who was born in 1962 in Salinas, California. He was of English, German and Irish descent. During his early life, he lived in Monterey Bay in California, which also happened to be the setting for most of his fiction. Steinbeck’s father worked as treasurer for the Monterey Bay County. His mother was a former school teacher who used to read books for him when Steinbeck was a young child, consequently sparking his love for books. From the adolescent age of fourteen, Steinbeck decided that he would become a writer. During his teens, he would devote countless hours to his room writing stories and poems. Steinbeck studied Marine Biology at Stanford University (possibly to satisfy his parents). Despite that, his dream to become a writer remained. Owing to that he was constantly dropping in and out of University, to work closely with migrants on California ranches. Those relationships, coupled with a sympathy for the weak and defenseless, deepened his empathic feelings towards the workers, the lonely and the dislocated. Such empathy is mirrored as quite an obvious characteristic of his written work. Once he had left University he moved to New York, where he decided to properly pursue his dream. Consequently, he became a journalist for a paper called, The American. During this time he continued working on his writing but was unsuccessful in getting any of his titles published, for this reason, he returned to California. While continuing to work on his writing, he worked at various odd jobs. Some of these include: being an apprentice painter, a surveyor, the caretaker of an estate and even a fruit-picker. Finally, in 1929, his first novel, Cup of Gold, was published, though it sustained little critical attention. Most of his books were set during the great depression era and most followed the lives of people belonging to the socio-economic group dubbed the working class (those most affected by it) defined by their relatively low education, shortage of economic funds as well as having jobs in the manual labor and industrial sectors. According to Marxists and socialists, the working class is described as follows: “The working class includes all those who have nothing to sell but their labor-power and skills”. Most of his work is set in central California, particularly in the Salinas Valley and the California Coast Ranges region. His works frequently dwelled into the themes of fate and injustice, especially as applied to everyman protagonists.Throughout his career, he wrote a total sum of 27 books, 16 of which were novels as well as six non-fiction books, and two collections of short stories. Some of his most notable works include: Tortilla Flat is the first novel of his that managed to gain clear and commercial success.Cannery Row was a book published in 1945, its setting was during the great depression.East of Eden is often described as is most ambitious novel, it brings to life the intricate. Details of two families this is also the book that earned Steinbeck, his Nobel Prize in 1962 which is the most prestigious award one can receive.Of Mice and Men, tells the story of two displaced ranch workers who wander throughout California in search of a place to work. The setting is during the Great-depression. John Steinbeck is to this day still a beloved author who managed to accomplish many things. Some of his literature has been considered influential enough to add to the western canon. The western canon is a body of works that have been deemed the most influential and important in shaping the western culture, it consists of literature, music, and art it holds a major artistic merit. This is just one of the many prestigious awards which he has received and these include: New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best American Play (1932)Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (1940)National Book Award for Fiction(1940)Nobel prize in literature (1962)Presidential Medal of Freedom (1964) It is a commonly known fact that John Steinbeck was a lifelong smoker and as a result, he died of congestive heart failure when he was just 66 years old. He died in New York City on December 20th, 1968. The day after his death the reviewer Charles Poore wrote in the New York Times: “John Steinbeck’s first great book was his last great book. But Good Lord, what a book that was and is: The Grapes of Wrath.” Poore noted a “preachiness” in Steinbeck’s work, “as if half his literary inheritance came from the best of Mark Twain— and the other half from the worst of Cotton Mather.” But he said that “Steinbeck didn’t need the Nobel Prize— the Nobel judges needed him.” In conclusion John Steinbeck was an accomplished writer who wrote quite a few books many of which were and are still held in high regard. His books were set in the area where he grew up during the great depression often following protagonists belonging to the working class, as such, he became a major spokesperson for the working class during the great depression. He received many prestigious awards during his lifetime and sadly he died at a young age due to his smoking.