John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. (February 27, 1902 – December 20, 1968) was an American writer. He wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes ofWrath (1939) and East of Eden (1952) and the novella Of Mice and Men (1937). He wrote a total of twenty-seven books, including sixteen novels, sixnon-fiction books and five collections of short stories. In 1962, Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature.
In 1962, Steinbeck wonthe Nobel Prize for literature for his “realistic and imaginative writing, combining as it does sympathetic humor and keen social perception.” On the dayof the announcement (Oct. 25) when he was asked by a reporter at a press conference given by his publisher, if he thought he deserved the Nobel, hesaid: "Frankly, no."  In his acceptance speech later in the year in Stockholm, he said:
the writer is delegated to declare and to celebrate man'sproven capacity for greatness of heart and spirit—for gallantry in defeat, for courage, compassion and love. In the endless war against weakness and despair,these are the bright rally flags of hope and of emulation. I hold that a writer who does not believe in the perfectibility of man has no dedication norany membership in literature.
—Steinbeck Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech
He also said in his speech, "Man himself has become our greatest hazardand our only hope. So that today, St. John the apostle may well be paraphrased: In the end is the Word, and the Word is Man—and the Word is with Men."
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