Phoenix, Arizona Toasts Of Mice and Men with a Ward 8

Image of a Ward 8 cocktail paired with Of Mice and Men

The new production of Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men by the Arizona Theatre Company got more than a 10-out-of-10 review from The State Press, the Tempe and Phoenix, Arizona newspaper published by students at Arizona State University. “Books & Booze: ‘Of Mice and Men’ by John Steinbeck,” this week’s column by Carson Abernathy, pairs Steinbeck’s Depression-era work with a Gilded Age cocktail called Ward 8, composed of whiskey, lemon juice, orange juice, and grenadine. Abernathy’s novel concept for making modern fiction palatable to college readers is appealing: he ties the book in question to a drink from the past and rates the writing for style, characterization, cohesiveness, and relevance. (Lolita and The Sun Also Rises were similarly paired and reviewed in recent columns.) We think Steinbeck, Hemingway, and Nabokov would drink to Abernathy’s bright idea.

Photo for The State Press by Johanna Huckeba.

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  1. Roy Bentley says:

    The website is always an eye opener! Each time I visit, I’m re-educated.

    Which tells me a great deal about the editor. So happy to be a part of the offerings!

    Bravo, Will

    • Roy Bentley is a poet and writing teacher in Ohio whose work appears in books, magazines, and online at

      • Steve Hauk says:

        The scene above also benefits highly from Mick Wiggins’ superb illustration of George and Lennie sitting on the banks of the Salinas River. Wiggins illustrated all of the Steinbeck paperback covers.

        • Steve Hauk is a playwright and fiction writer in California whose work, including stories based on the life of Steinbeck, can be sampled at

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