Mad at the World by William Souder

A resonant biography of America’s most celebrated novelist of the Great Depression.The first full-length biography of the Nobel laureate to appear in 1 / 4 century, Mad on the World illuminates what has made the paintings of John Steinbeck an enduring part of the literary canon: his potential for empathy. Pulitzer Prize finalist William Souder explores Steinbeck’s long apprenticeship as a creator struggling through the depths of the Great Depression, and his upward push to greatness with masterpieces including The Red Pony, Of Mice and Men, and The Grapes of Wrath. Angered with the aid of the plight of the Dust Bowl migrants who had been starving even as they toiled to harvest California’s countless bounty, inquisitive about the guileless decency of the downtrodden denizens of Cannery Row, and appalled by the country’s refusal to understand the humanity common to all of its citizens, Steinbeck took a stand in opposition to social injustice―sarcastically given his inherent misanthropy―putting him other than the writers of the so-called “lost generation.”A man via turns quick-tempered, compassionate, and in the end brilliant, Steinbeck may be a difficult character to like. Obsessed with privacy, he changed into mistrustful of people. Next to writing, his favored things had been ingesting and womanizing and getting married, which he did three times. And while he claimed indifference about success, his mid-career books and film offers made him a number of money―which passed thru his arms as quickly as it came in. And but Steinbeck additionally took goal on the corrosiveness of power, the perils of income inequality, and the urgency of ecological collapse, all of which force public debate to this day.Steinbeck stays our great social realist novelist, the author who gave the dispossessed and the disenfranchised a voice in American existence and letters. Eloquent, nuanced, and deeply researched, Mad at the World captures the overall measure of the man and his work. eight pages of illustrations


John Steinbeck just might be the novelist for our time. In his sprawling epic The Grapes of Wrath, he captured Americans’ peculiar craving for a lifestyles now not their own, the promise of wealth beyond the veil of desolation and the wretched impossibility of the sort of promise. Steinbeck’s other epic, East of Eden, illustrates the ragged desperation of human nature, wreaking destruction alternatively than sporting hope. William Souder’s bracing Mad at the World: A Life of John Steinbeck vividly portrays the brooding and moody writer who could by no means stop writing and who never match comfortably inside the society in which he lived.

Souder, whose biography of John James Audobon become a Pulitzer finalist, lines Steinbeck’s love of tale and storytelling to his childhood. As a teenager, Steinbeck immersed himself in Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur, which he translated later in lifestyles, and in adventure testimonies and classics inclusive of Treasure Island, Madame Bovary and Crime and Punishment. This early analyzing gave him glimpses into the shadowy corners of the human coronary heart and furnished him with models for telling tales of human beings engaged in heroic struggles against the injustices of their eras.

Steinbeck become a born storyteller, a creator who became not satisfied until he become working, a novelist a bit out of step together with his times (lots of his social realist novels appeared all through the improvements of modernism) and a reticent guy who would instead write than talk publicly about his writing. Steinbeck’s greatest virtue, consistent with Souder, was his “capability to stay interior other cultures, different races; he added humans to lifestyles who were in any other case invisible and voiceless.” The first Steinbeck biography given that Jay Parini’s greater psychological John Steinbeck: A Biography (1995), Mad at the World vibrantly illuminates the life and paintings of a creator who is nevertheless widely study and relevant today.


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