Of his thirty-four works, most are still in print, and combined his most popular works sell more than 700,000 copies every year. Taken together, they represent a positive, spirited, vivid, honest portrait of America in from the WWI through the Vietnam War.
Cup of Gold (1929)
A tale of swashbuckling Welsh buccaneer Henry Morgan's life, from boyhood on the Welsh glen to his death as lieutenant governor of Jamaica. Morgan was famous for his raids on Spanish colonial outposts and had a commanding spirit that makes for a raucous, vibrant story.
The Pastures of Heaven (1932)
Set in a secluded valley in California called Las Pastures del Cielo, this series of short stories tells the tales of farmers and misfits living in a seemingly idyllic valley.
Tortilla Flat (1935)
Tapping into the bohemian spirit of down-and-out Depression-generation youth, Steinbeck's humorous novel portrays the vagabond-type existence and exploits of the main character and his crazy group of friends. This was his first novel to achieve popular and critical success—it became an instant best-seller.
In Dubious Battle (1936)
Power struggles and violence! The story of radical labor sympathizers who are trying to organize a strike in the California fruit country.
Download complete list"The Harvest Gypsies" (1936, 1988)
Newpaper series. When he first took up the plight of migrant farm workers (later a major theme in The Grapes of Wrath), Steinbeck wrote a series of article for the San Francisco News. This is a reprint of his seven powerful pieces.
Of Mice And Men (1937)
The Salinas Valley is the setting for this tale of two drifting ranch hands who dream of a piece of land of their own. A critical and popular success, the novel went on to become one of the most-banned books of all time.
The Grapes of Wrath (1939)
Considered by many to be his masterpiece, this is Steinbeck's epic account of the migration of sharecroppers from the Dust Bowl in Oklahoma to California, where they imagine a free and happy life. It won him the Pulitzer Prize in 1940, was adapted into a successful film starring Henry Fonda, and continues to be one of the most read and revered works in all of American literature.
Download complete listForgotten Village (1941)
In a small Mexican village, villagers are exposed to cholera. Steinbeck explores the struggle between traditional and modern medical practices.
Sea of Cortez (1941)
Ed Ricketts and Steinbeck present a scientific account of how marine invertebrates are collected, preserved, and classified—this is some slimy stuff! The quirky text includes Steinbeck's explanation of his philosophy of life and the natural world.
Download complete listBombs Away (1942)
A Military coming-of-age, this tale chronicles six young men as they move through several training schools to become airmen during World War II.
The Moon Is Down (1942)
One of Steinbeck's shorter novels, it was completed right before his departure for Europe as a war correspondent during World War II. The novel describes the occupation of a small, unnamed mining town in Northern Europe by an unidentified army.
Cannery Row (1945)
A delightful novel about life on the edge of the Pacific—where bums, a Chinese grocer, a marine biologist and prostitutes live in harmony together. Steinbeck captures the unique personalities and atmosphere of the row of shacks along the Monterey shoreline known as Cannery Row.
The Wayward Bus (1947)
Before the 1960s, hobos and vagabonds wandered a troubled America in solitude. A "Grand Hotel'' -type novel, the book brings together a group of strangers and strands them overnight at a roadside gas station.
Burning Bright (1950)
A scandal fit for reality TV! A play and novelette that presents a modern-day dilemma of dispossession: a man who discovers he is sterile must accept another man's child as his own.
The Log From The Sea Of Cortez (1951)
A reissue of the narrative from Sea of Cortez to which Steinbeck has added a biographical sketch of Ed Ricketts, his good friend who was tragically killed in a train accident in 1948.
East of Eden (1952)
Sex, murder, suicide, infidelity, greed, blackmail, nasty manipulation: No subject is taboo in East of Eden. It's a novel of how two families, the Hamiltons and the Trasks, affect each other's lives in the rich farmlands of the Salinas Valley, California, from the Civil War to World War I.
Sweet Thursday (1954)
In this rollicking comic tale Steinbeck revisits several characters from Cannery Row after World War II. Sweet Thursday was later made into the musical Pipe Dream by Oscar Hammerstein and Richard Rodgers.
The Winter Of Our Discontent (1961)
Through the life of a New England patrician family, the author portrays some of his characters corrupt attitudes about honesty and success. The major theme of the novel is the loss of integrity in our world and a decline in the standards of personal, business and political morality.
Travels With Charley: In Search Of America (1962)
Steinbeck's American voyage of rediscovery. Steinbeck covered more than 10,000 miles of American countryside accompanied by his distinguished French poodle, Charley.
America and Americans (1966)
Steinbeck's text, accompanied by photographs, renders the many faces of America, its scenic beauty as well as its humanity and tragedy. Steinbeck takes the gloves off in this honest portrait of the America of his time.
Journal Of A Novel (1969)
A day-by-day account of the writing of East of Eden that provides all the juicy details; originally a series of letters to Pascal Covici, Steinbeck's friend and editor at Viking Press.
Viva Zapata! (1975)
Script of the film. Fictionalized account of the part played by Emiliano Zapata in the Mexican Revolution. Steinbeck's fascination with Zapata began when he realized Zapata's aim was to represent the common man.
Download complete listThe Acts Of King Arthur And His Noble Knights (1976)
In his reinterpretation of seven tales from Malory's Morte d'Arthur completed in 1959, Steinbeck attempts to render Malory "...into a modern English, while...trying to recreate a rhythm and tone," similar to the original Middle English. This was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream to make a meaningful contribution to Arthurian legend.
Download complete listLetters To Elizabeth (1978)
Steinbeck's heartfelt letters to Elizabeth Otis, his New York literary agent, in a numbered limited edition of 500 copies.
Working Days: The Journals Of The Grapes Of Wrath (1989)
Behind-the-scenes look at a masterpiece! The Journal kept by Steinbeck during the composition and publication of his classic work, with plenty of thoughts on the process of writing the great American novel.