Shocking and controversial when it was first published in 1939, Steinbeck's Pulitzer prize-winning epic "The Grapes of Wrath" remains his undisputed masterpiece. Set against the background of Dust Bowl Oklahoma and Californian migrant life, it tells of Tom Joad and his family, who, like thousands of others, are forced to travel west in search of the promised land. Their story is one of false hopes, thwarted desires and broken dreams, yet out of their suffering Steinbeck created a drama that is intensely human, yet majestic in its scale and moral vision. Adapted into a celebrated film directed by John Ford, and starring Henry Fonda, "The Grapes of Wrath" is an eloquent tribute to the endurance and dignity of the human spirit.
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John Steinbeck (1902-68), winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for literature, is remembered as one of the greatest and best-loved American writers of the twentieth century. During the Second World War Steinbeck served as a war correspondent, with his collected dispatches published as "Once There Was a War" (1958); in 1945 he was awarded the Norwegian Cross of Freedom for his novel "The Moon is Down" (1942), a portrayal of Resistance efforts in northern Europe. His best-known works include the epics "The Grapes of Wrath" (1939) and "East of Eden" (1952), and his tragic novella "Of Mice and Men" (1937).