The Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression, a book that galvanized—and sometimes outraged—millions of readers.
First published in 1939, Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads—driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity. A portrait of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, of one man’s fierce reaction to injustice, and of one woman’s stoical strength, the novel captures the horrors of the Great Depression and probes into the very nature of equality and justice in America. At once a naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck’s powerful landmark novel is perhaps the most American of American Classics.
“Steinbeck is a poet. . . . Everything is real, everything perfect.”—Upton Sinclair, Common Sense
“I think, and with earnest and honest consideration . . . that The Grapes of Wrath is the greatest American novel I have ever read." —Dorothy Parker
“It seems to me as great a book as has yet come out of America.” —Alexander Woollcott
About the Author
John Steinbeck (1902–1968) was born in Salinas, California, and died in New York City. He remains one of the most prolific and influential authors of his generation and won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962.
This Centennial edition, specially designed to commemorate one hundred years of Steinbeck, features french flaps and deckle-edged pages.
For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
THE GRAPES OF WRATH
Born in Salinas, California, in 1902, JOHN STEINBECK grew up in a fertile agricultural valley about twenty-five miles from the Pacific Coast—and both valley and coast would serve as settings for some of his best fiction. In 1919 he went to Stanford University, where he intermittently enrolled in literature and writing courses until he left in 1925 without taking a degree. During the next five years he supported himself as a laborer and journalist in New York City, all the time working on his first novel,Cup of Gold (1929). After marriage and a move to Pacific Grove, he published two California fictions,The Pastures of Heaven (1932) and To a God Unknown (1933), and worked on short stories later collected inThe Long Valley (1938). Popular success and financial security came only withTortilla Flat (1935), stories about Monterey’s paisanos. A ceaseless experimenter throughout his career, Steinbeck changed courses regularly. Three powerful novels of the late 1930s focused on the California laboring class:In Dubious Battle (1936), Of Mice and Men (1937), and the book considered by many his finest,The Grapes of Wrath (1939). Early in the 1940s, Steinbeck became a filmmaker withThe Forgotten Village (1941) and a serious student of marine biology with Sea of Cortez (1941). He devoted his services to the war, writing Bombs Away (1942) and the controversial play-noveletteThe Moon Is Down (1942). Cannery Row (1945), The Wayward Bus (1947),The Pearl (1947), A Russian Journal (1948), another experimental drama,Burning Bright (1950), and The Log from the Sea of Cortez (1951) preceeded publication of the monumentalEast of Eden (1952), an ambitious saga of the Salinas Valley and his own family’s history. The last decades of his life were spent in New York City and Sag Harbor with his third wife, with whom he traveled widely. Later books includeSweet Thursday (1954), The Short Reign of Pippin IV: A Fabrication (1957),Once There Was a War (1958), The Winter of Our Discontent (1961), Travels with Charley in Search of America (1962), America and Americans (1966), and the posthumously publishedJournal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters (1969), Viva Zapata! (1975),The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights (1976), and Working Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath (1989). He died in 1968, having won a Nobel Prize in 1962.
ROBERT DEMOTT is Edwin and Ruth Kennedy Distinguished Professor at Ohio University, where he has received half a dozen undergraduate and graduate teaching awards, including the Jeanette G. Grasselli Faculty Teaching Award and the Honors College’s Outstanding Tutor Award. He is a former director of the Center for Steinbeck Studies at San Jose State University, and served for more than three decades on the editorial boards of theSteinbeck Quarterly, Steinbeck Newsletter, and Steinbeck Studies. He is editor (with Elaine Steinbeck as Special Consultant) of the Library of America’s multivolume edition of John Steinbeck’s writings, of whichNovels and Stories 1932-1937 (1994), The Grapes of Wrath and Other Writings 1936-1942
(1996), and Novels 1942-1952 (2001) have so far appeared. His annotated edition of John Steinbeck’sWorking Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath was chosen as a New York Times Notable Book in 1989, and hisSteinbeck’s Typewriter: Essays on His Art (1996) received the Nancy Dasher Book Award from the College English Association of Ohio in 1998.
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4P 2Y3
(a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd)
Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia
(a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd)
Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi-110 017, India
Penguin Group (NZ), cnr Airborne and Rosedale Roads, Albany, Auckland 1310, New Zealand
(a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices:
80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
First published in the United States of America by The Viking Press 1939
Published in a Viking Compass edition 1958
Published in Penguin Books 1976
Edition with an introduction by Robert DeMott published 1992
This edition with notes by Robert DeMott published 2006
Copyright John Steinbeck, 1939
Copyright renewed John Steinbeck, 1967
Introduction copyright © Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 1992
Notes copyright © Robert DeMott, 2006
All rights reserved
- Publisher : Penguin Books (January 8, 2002)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 455 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0142000663
- ISBN-13 : 978-0142000663
- Reading age : 13+ years, from customers
- Lexile measure : 680L
- Item Weight : 1.1 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.7 x 1.16 x 8.46 inches