John Steinbeck was an American novelist whose Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Grapes of Wrath, portrayed the plight of migrant workers during the Great Depression.
John Ernst Steinbeck Jr. (February 27, 1902 - December 20, 1968) was a Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist and the author of Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden as well as other novels, Cannery Row. and Tortilla Flat.
John Stienbeck grew up in one of the most fertile valley's in the state, an area that became the setting for much of his greatest fiction. In the 50 years prior to the publication of Mice and Men most of the region's wheat and fruit crops were picked by migrant workers who follow the harvests, mostly single men without home or family, with a napsack and a bedroll as their only posessions. Stienbeck himself had worked the field's and packing plants as a highschool student. And after leaving Stanford university where he only half-hearedly pursued his studies he joined the ranks of the migrants moving from ranch to ranch for nearly two years experiencing first hand the loneliness and isolation of the itinerant working man.