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The Passing of Frank Wright And the Men’s Clubs of John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row

The recent death of Monterey, California businessman Frank Wright at age 98 served as a reminder that the life of Doc’s Lab—Ed Ricketts’s marine biology laboratory on Cannery Row—had two distinct phases. The 1930s and 1940s were the period of John Steinbeck and Ricketts and the artists and poets and philosophers who gathered around them. The 1950s began the Lab’s second … [Read More...]

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At Home with John Steinbeck

I was nine when I discovered Google Maps. I was a demure little thing, sporting wispy baby hairs and crooked front teeth, but I sat in front of our family computer … [Read More...]

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The Salt Has Kept its Savor For the Reader Who Finds Religious Meaning in John Steinbeck’s Land and People

Although I have read and enjoyed most of John Steinbeck’s published writing, I am not a Steinbeck scholar and claim no special expertise. But I have lived in … [Read More...]

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The Conversation with John Steinbeck’s Widow That Was All About Names, and Love

It was 1998. I had co-curated with Patricia Leach the inaugural art exhibition at the grand opening of the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, California. A week or so after the opening I received a phone call from a woman with a Southwestern accent, or at … [Read More...]

The New Florida Climate of No-Nothing Culture Rejects The Grapes of Wrath: Satire

Frank Cerabino, the humor writer for the Palm Beach Post newspaper best known for book-length put-downs of condo captains and crooked politicians, seized on The Grapes of Wrath to satirize Sean Hannity, intelligent design, and Florida climate deniers in a July … [Read More...]

John Steinbeck Loved This Family Home in Watsonville, California, and So Will You

For John Steinbeck, moving on in life meant leaving family homes—and friends—behind in California, starting with Salinas, where the Steinbeck family home on Central Avenue has become a living museum made possible in part by gifts of memorabilia from John … [Read More...]

Birds Do It, Bees Do It, and John Steinbeck Did It, Too

Movement was a major feature of John Steinbeck’s life and writing, and migration—human, animal, vegetable—is the focus of this year's John Steinbeck festival in Salinas, California, scheduled May 5-7 to coincide with Cinco de Mayo, a favorite fiesta of the … [Read More...]