American author John Steinbeck (1902-1968) was born in Salinas, California. His upbringing in a rural town and summers spent working alongside migrant workers at neighboring ranches would provided themes and settings for his characteristically regional style. In 1919, Steinbeck graduated from Salinas High School and attended Stanford University intermittently until 1925, eventually leaving without a degree. Steinbeck moved to New York City, attempting to live a writer's life, but failing to publish, he returned to California. He spent most of the years of the Great Depression in the Monterey Peninsula in California, his literary activities supported by his father. Steinbeck's first successful novel Tortilla Flat was published in 1935, for which he received the California Commonwealth Club's Gold Medal. The next four years brought what has become known as his "Dust Bowl" fiction: Of Mice and Men (1937) and the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Grapes of Wrath (1939). Steinbeck's most well known works of fiction include: Cannery Row (1945), The Pearl (1947), East of Eden (1952), and The Winter of Our Discontent (1961), his final novel. Steinbeck's oeuvre also includes six non-fiction works and five collections of short stories, as well as numerous journalistic pieces from his time as a war correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune during World War II. Many of his novels were successfully adapted for the screen. In 1962, Steinbeck was honored with the Nobel Prize for Literature. The collection consists of manuscripts of galley and page proofs for The Winter of Our Discontent, as well as a metal die used for imprinting the volume's spine title.
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