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Of Mice and Men: Home

Year 11 Novel Study

SparkNotes: Of Mice and Men Summary

Cliffs Notes - Of Mice of Men

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John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck, widely regarded as one of the most influential voices in American literature, enjoyed a comfortably middleclass upbringing in and around Salinas, California. The son of a schoolteacher and a local politician, Steinbeck spent his summers as a young man working on nearby ranches and migrant farms—an experience that provided him with the material for some of his most famous works, including Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath, and East of Eden. Steinbeck studied literature at Stanford but failed to graduate, and in 1925 moved to New York City to pursue a career as a writer. He struggled to publish, and returned to California in 1928, where he and his wife lived humbly while receiving financial support from Steinbeck’s parents throughout the Great Depression. Steinbeck published his first novel, Cup of Gold, in 1929, and in the 1930s hurtled to success as a chronicler of both California’s history and its contemporary struggles through fiction and nonfiction. The anti-capitalist, pro-worker sentiments of his major works—most prominently displayed in The Grapes of Wrath—made Steinbeck a controversial figure who drew the ire of the CIA, the IRS, and J. Edgar Hoover. The winner of the 1962 Nobel Prize for Literature, Steinbeck has been inducted into the California Hall of Fame and his work is hailed to this day for its realism. (LitCharts)

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