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John Steinbeck Biographer Writes Life of Gore Vidal, Master of Historical Fiction

Though they were born a generation apart on opposite coasts, John Steinbeck and Gore Vidal—bestselling writers with close ties to Broadway, Hollywood, and progressive politics—had much in common. Empire of Self: A Life of Gore Vidal, by John Steinbeck’s versatile biographer Jay Parini, considers the controversial author of Lincoln, Burr, and Myra Breckinridge to be a master of … [Read More...]

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She Gave John Steinbeck Studies a Home: Martha Heasley Cox, 1919-2015

Martha Heasley Cox died in San Francisco, age 96, on September 5, 2015. Her colleague Paul Douglass celebrates her contribution to John Steinbeck studies, San Jose … [Read More...]

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Timely Topic: John Steinbeck As an International Writer— Planners Invite Proposals for Papers at 2016 Conference in San Jose, California

In a 1946 letter, John Steinbeck described arriving in Denmark to find “thirty cameramen with flashlights . . . . I didn’t know anyone treated writers like this.” He … [Read More...]

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Creative Art by Belle Yang Inspired by the Landscape of Steinbeck’s Monterey Bay

Ching-Chong, Chinaman When Steve Hauk of Hauk Fine Arts Gallery in Pacific Grove, California, curated a show of Steinbeck art and artifacts, I contributed Ching-Chong, Chinaman, a gouache painting inspired by a scene in Steinbeck’s novel Cannery Row. Andy is … [Read More...]


The Chinese of Steinbeck’s Monterey Bay and Salinas Valley: An Artist’s Story

My family moved to the Monterey Bay region 45 years ago. We were drawn to the mist-swaddled crags at Point Lobos, which whispered of our ancestral homeland. Yet we felt ourselves alien people, among the first Chinese to have found a permanent nesting place in … [Read More...]


Why John Steinbeck Would Support Bernie Sanders Now

If John Steinbeck were alive today he would support Bernie Sanders for president. Why? Because Bernie Sanders is the kind of outspoken progressive the author of The Grapes of Wrath enthusiastically embraced during his controversial career as a prize-winning … [Read More...]


The Scottish Lord and Pearl Harbor—Winston Churchill’s Protected Spy: A True Story

A Story of Betrayal in John Steinbeck's Time Winston Churchill’s mug? Odd connections to John Steinbeck's life continue to appear at SteinbeckNow.com, thanks to authors like John Bell Smithback, a Far East expert and former resident of the neighborhood in … [Read More...]