Steinbeck is a writer who continually manages to move us with his ever relevant writing on injustice, nature and humanity. Opening any page of this book immediately transports us into another world.
He is the master of speech and simplicity and this is a must read.
Here a beautiful edition from 1939 (it seems, there is no date inside).
Below, an expert from Katie Brown's beautiful essay which we sent with 120 copies of The Pearl in February.
A heavy drinker with questionable political views and a string of failed marriages to his name, Steinbeck was far from perfect. He was moody, fallible and received scorn when he won the Nobel Prize for Literature, being perceived by many at the time to be ‘the best of a bad bunch.’ However, he was filled with anger by the mistreatment of migrant populations around the world and he was a progressive thinker in a backwards age of race relations, remaining immensely sympathetic to the struggles of the displaced throughout his whole life. He himself was dismissive of using the background of an author to inform their work and perhaps he has a point. Despite the flaws of the man, his creative genius lies in the way he makes us feel connected to each other when we read his writing. Exploring his lesser known work shows us that we change forever as we travel and inhabit different places, whether they be vaulting mountains or endless seas, deadbeat towns or chaotic cityscapes. But what doesn’t change is our basic human needs and our shared hopes and fears. Much like the creation of a real pearl the layers of our life are made up mostly of dirt and dust but transform into something of bigger value than the sum of its parts. There is a pervasive and grounding faith in humanity that permeates his writing like a light warm rain.