A new biography of John Steinbeck by William Souder is out now. Mad at the World: A Life of John Steinbeck (WW Norton), features this portrait as the frontispiece.
Described as “A resonant biography of America’s most celebrated novelist of the Great Depression” it is the first full-length biography of the Nobel laureate to appear in a quarter century.
“Pulitzer Prize finalist William Souder explores Steinbeck’s long apprenticeship as a writer struggling through the depths of the Great Depression, and his rise to greatness with masterpieces such as The Red Pony, Of Mice and Men, and The Grapes of Wrath. Angered by the plight of the Dust Bowl migrants who were starving even as they toiled to harvest California’s limitless bounty, fascinated by the guileless decency of the downtrodden denizens of Cannery Row, and appalled by the country’s refusal to recognize the humanity common to all of its citizens, Steinbeck took a stand against social injustice – paradoxically given his inherent misanthropy – setting him apart from the writers of the so-called “lost generation.””