John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. (February 27, 1902 December 20, 1968) was a [[UsefulNotes/PulitzerPrize Pulitzer]] and Nobel Prize-winning American author. He wrote twenty-seven books within his lifetime, and became influential in his writing style and views.

He was born by the Salinas river in UsefulNotes/{{California}} out in the country, which affected many of the settings of his works. A simple man, he labored alongside the migrant workers that inspired him. After leaving Stanford University without a degree, he set off his career with ''Tortilla Flat'', a novel set in post-UsefulNotes/WorldWarI Monterey. His Dust Bowl novels set in California garnered critical success and became some of his most popular works, such as ''Literature/OfMiceAndMen''. ''Literature/TheGrapesOfWrath'' won the Pulitzer Prize in 1940, and became a controversial but influential work that ended up on the list of banned novels. It caused controversy with his liberal political views. The negative angle on capitalism and the representation of the Okies made trouble for him, but the book remained a success and is considered by many to be his best work.

Steinbeck is known for showing the poor as decent people and the underdogs, and putting his views into his work. He was awarded the UsefulNotes/NobelPrizeInLiterature in 1962 before he died in 1968.

John Steinbeck's works have become popular SchoolStudyMedia and are still read today, [[TearJerker traumatizing]] generations of American children for ever after.

!! Notable works by John Steinbeck
* ''Literature/OfMiceAndMen''
* ''Literature/TheGrapesOfWrath''
* ''Literature/CanneryRow''
* ''Literature/TheRedPony''
* ''Literature/EastOfEden''
* ''Literature/InDubiousBattle''
* ''Literature/ThePearl''
* ''TravelsWithCharley''
* ''[[Myth/KingArthur The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights]]''

!!Screenplays by Steinbeck
* ''Film/VivaZapata'' (1952)

!!!Tropes associated with his works:
* AuthorTract
* AuthorExistenceFailure: Steinbeck died before finishing his modern English translation of ''Literature/LeMorteDarthur'', leaving the book stopping after the story of Lancelot.
* CentralTheme: All his books are set during TheGreatDepression
* [[DeathByNewberyMedal Death By Pulitzer Prize]]
* DownerEnding: Reading Steinbeck is sort of like driving past a bad traffic accident. You know someone who probably didn't deserve to die has died, but you ''have'' to look.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: His first book, ''Cup of Gold'', is a historical fiction about the notorious privateer Henry Morgan, and a far cry from the low key and bitterly realistic works he's known for.
* FromBadToWorse
* GreyAndGrayMorality
* KitchenSinkDrama
* LiteraryAllusionTitle
* RousseauWasRight: While his books are aware of human evil, many of his characters are still human and sympathetic.
* SceneryPorn: Steinbeck is to California what Creator/LMMontgomery is to Prince Edward Island.
* SchoolStudyMedia
* ShootTheShaggyDog
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism: While his books often featured sympathetic people....they were set during the great depression.
* SlidingScaleOfRealisticVersusFantastic: His books were about real people [[TheGreatDepression living through a really dark time in human history]].
* WriteWhatYouKnow: Most of his books are based on his own experiences.