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Steinbeck A little over a century ago a man was born in California who became one of the great writers and storytellers in American history Snell 1961 p 11 His name was John Ernst Steinbeck He lived and wrote during the time that American fiction was changing Previously American fiction had copied English and continental literature Snell 1961 p11 In the twentieth century however American fiction became dramatically different It began to deal with the social problems that were taking place as America grew from a wilderness to a world power Verde 1993pVI John Steinbeck became the voice of the American conscience Verde 1993 p112 In particular through his social concern sense of humor and artistic talent Steinbeck brought the plight of the migrant worker and the simple lower class American to a new awareness John Steinbeck knew firsthand what it was like to be an itinerant person When he was barely twenty years old he spent a night in a Hobo camp on his way to San Francisco Verde 1993 p101 He loved to talk with these people and was always searching for ideas to use in his writing At the age of 34 he considered using some of this experience to write a play about the migrant workers life His publisher Pascal Covici urged Steinbeck to make his story into a short novel and in the spring of 1936 John Steinbeck wrote Of Mice and Men Verde 1993 p105 It was published in 1937 and sold 100000 copies The Book-of-the Month Club chose it as their selection and Of Mice and Men became a best seller Swisher 1957 p19 It was Steinbecks first real commercial success Later that same year playwright and director George Kauffman approached Steinbeck about making the novel into a play Steinbeck made some revisions to the novel and the play was produced Swisher 1957 p19 Since the publication of Of Mice and Men in
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