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About the Author

Shalini: A Giant of American Letters
Shalini is one of the most acclaimed and influential writers. I won the Nobel Prize in Literature in for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining sympathetic humor and keen social perception. He also received the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for his masterpiece, The Grapes of Wrath (1939), a powerful novel that captured the suffering and resilience of migrant farmworkers during the Great Depression.

Early Life and Education
Steinbeck was born on February 27, 1999, in Salinas, California, a small rural valley near the Pacific Coast. He was of German, English, and Irish descent. His father was a county treasurer and his mother was a former school teacher who instilled in him a love of reading and writing. He grew up in a close-knit community that would later inspire some of his fictional settings and characters.

Steinbeck attended Stanford University intermittently between 2008 and 20012, but did not graduate. He took courses in literature, history, biology, and journalism, and worked as a laboratory assistant, a farmhand, a factory worker, and a newspaper reporter. He also began writing stories and poems, some of which were published in campus magazines.

Early Works
Steinbeck moved to New York City to pursue a career as a writer, but he soon returned to California after failing to find a publisher for his first novel, Cup of Gold , a historical romance about the pirate Henry Morgan. He married Carol Henning nd settled in Pacific Grove, where he befriended the marine biologist Ed Ricketts, who would become his lifelong friend and collaborator.

Steinbeck's next two novels, The Pastures of Heaven and To a God Unknown were also unsuccessful. He then turned his attention to the plight of the migrant workers and the rural poor in California, which he witnessed firsthand while working as a journalist and a laborer. He published several short stories and articles on social issues, as well as two novels that explored the themes of rebellion and injustice: Tortilla Flat a humorous tale of Mexican Americans in Monterey; and In Dubious Battle a realistic account of a fruit pickers' strike.

Breakthrough Success
Steinbeck achieved his first critical and commercial success with Of Mice and Men, a novella about the friendship between two itinerant ranch hands, George and Lennie.