Bredeson, Carmen. “John Steinbeck.” American Writers of the 20th Century.
Springfield, NJ: Enslow, 1996. 53-60.
Is one chapter in a book for young adults that summarizes the lives and accomplishments of ten
American writers of the twentieth century including William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, Ernest
Hemingway, and Maya Angelou. The chapter on Steinbeck describes his childhood, work
experiences, life at Stanford University, first writing successes, relationship with Edward
Ricketts, marriages, and later life. Discusses the significance of Ricketts to Cannery
Row and Sweet Thursday, as well as the importance of The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and
Ferguson, Stephen, comp. John Steinbeck: The Collection of Preston Beyer: Donated to
the Princeton University Library by His Daughters Barbara A. Rice, Marilyn S.
Shuffler, Lynne B. Sagalyn: Annotated Catalogue of the Collection. Princeton:
Dept. of Rare Books and Spec. Collections, Princeton U Lib., 1998.
Catalogs the Steinbeck collection of Preston Beyer, which consists of about 1,500 books,
pamphlets,clippings, magazines, and correspondence. Includes a preface that discusses
the donation to Princeton, the scope of the catalogue, and the arrangement of entries.
Also includes an introduction by Beyer. Consists of three parts: materials by Steinbeck,
materials about Steinbeck, and manuscripts. Some entries feature Beyer’s original annotations.
Florence, Donne. John Steinbeck: America’s Author. Springfield: Enslow, 1999.
Harmon, Robert B. John Steinbeck: An Annotated Guide to Biographical Sources.
Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 1996.
Begins with an introduction on Steinbeck’s aversion to biographies and implies that he
would have been satisfied with a biography that explored how he wrote instead of why
he wrote. Includes almost 600 annotated entries of guides and indexes to biographical
sources, Steinbeck biographies, autobiographical sources, biographical dictionaries, subject
dictionaries, obituary sources, and audiovisual material. Ends with a very detailed chronology.
Features some rare photographs of Steinbeck, his family, teachers, school, Ed Ricketts,
and friend Bo Beskow’s portrait.
Perkins, Christine N. 100 Authors Who Shaped World History. San Mateo, CA:
Offers brief biographies arranged in chronological order of 100 influential authors of the
world. Serves as an introduction to these writers and would be particularly useful for
young adults. The section on John Steinbeck lists and describes his major works in essay
form and explains what his writing is most notable for.
Reef, Catherine. John Steinbeck. New York: Clarion, 1996.
Presents a respectful biography of Steinbeck geared towards young adults. Combines
his experiences with excerpts from his writing and photographs of him, his subjects, and
his America. Focuses on his childhood, life at Stanford, and the making of The Grapes of
Wrath. Briefly touches on his later works and his later life, including marriages, political
involvement, and travels.
Schneiderman, Leo. Motherless Children, Fatherless Waifs: Fictional Protagonists
and the Artist’s Search for the Real Self. I.O. Evans Studies in the Philosophy
and Criticism of Lit. Vol. 12. San Bernardino, CA: Borgo, 1996.
Examines the lives and works of ten twentieth century authors using psychoanalysis.
Offers a glossary of psychoanalytic terms for those unfamiliar with the theory. The chapter
“John Steinbeck: A Study of Identity Diffusion and Ambivalence” claims that Steinbeck had
an overbearing mother who influenced his use of female characters in his works. Contends
that his unpopular youth forced him to live vicariously through his fantasies in writing and to
develop his phalanx theory. Also explores his relationship with his father and several
“father figures,” including Edward Ricketts and Lyndon Johnson. Contains several comments
that make one wonder if Schneiderman is sufficiently familiar with Steinbeck’s life and works
Simmonds, Roy. John Steinbeck: The War Years, 1939-1945. Lewisburg, PA:
Bucknell UP, 1996.
Sonnenberg, Rhonda. “John Steinbeck: America Against Itself.” Still We Danced
Forward: WWII and the Writer’s Life. Washington: Brassey’s, 1998. 51-87.
Is a chapter in a book that examines the lives of seven authors whose lives and writings
were affected by World War II. Begins by describing how Steinbeck arrived at his phalanx
theory and how this theory came to be demonstrated by Hitler and his following. Analyzes
Steinbeck’s trip to the Sea of Cortez, the break-up of his first marriage, and his itinerancy
during the war. Illustrates his struggle to be allowed to serve the government as a writer
for the war effort and his pain at being rejected. Describes his experiences and brushes with
death as a war reporter for the New York Herald Tribune. Suggests that his second marriage
ended because of the effects of the war on him. Briefly looks at how his subsequent novels
were affected by his war experience.