John Steinbeck

NWPR Books
8:40 am
Sat April 19, 2014

For Chris O'Dowd, 'Of Mice And Men' Is More Than An American Story

"Any time you're playing someone with a cognitive disability of any kind it's dangerous territory," says Chris O'Dowd, of playing Lennie, in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. Leighton Meester plays the wife of Curley, the son of Lennie's boss.
Richard Phibbs Polk and Co.

John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men — about George and Lennie, two laborers and unlikely friends during the Great Depression — may seem like a quintessentially American story. But Irish actor Chris O'Dowd, who plays Lennie in a new Broadway production the novella, says Steinbeck is "quite oddly" very popular in Ireland.

There's something about Of Mice and Men that appeals to the Irish people, O'Dowd tells NPR's Wade Goodwyn. "All of us have chased the American dream so there's something very universal about it," he says.

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NWPR Books
1:02 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Book Club Meeting: Come Talk About 'Grapes Of Wrath,' Chapters 11-20

A family prepares to leave Oklahoma for California in 1939, just as the Joads did in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.
Russell Lee Library of Congress

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 1:44 pm

We made it to California! And if you're reading along, you, like us, are two-thirds of the way through John Steinbeck's Dust Bowl classic. So it's time again for us to gather and share our thoughts.

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NWPR Books
12:07 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Book Club Meeting: Come Talk About Steinbeck's 'Grapes Of Wrath'

The Grapes Of Wrath opens in Dust Bowl Oklahoma.
AP

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 1:44 pm

Late last week, an email exchange between NPR Books' team members went something like this:

Camila: OH MY GOD PIGS EAT BABIES!?!?

Nicole: YUP. But then, later, people eat pigs. So, does that make them even?

Colin: I trust this isn't a spoiler. Ahem.

Tanya: SPOILERS PEOPLE.

Camila: Not a spoiler cus it's NOT EVEN A BIG DEAL. That's the worst part. It's just like "Oh yeah, remember the time that pig ate that baby? Memories."

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Last Chance To Read 'Grapes Of Wrath' Before It Turns 75

These Grapes of Wrath copies may look well-loved, but don't be fooled. A lot of us are opening them up for the first time.
Jim Tuttle NPR

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 1:43 pm

John Steinbeck's Dust Bowl saga has been on required reading lists for decades, but somehow a lot of us at NPR Books have never read it. (We know! We know!) So when we realized the 75th anniversary was coming up on April 14, we thought: What better way to pay tribute to Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning epic than to actually crack it open?

That is to say: We're hosting a Grapes of Wrath book club and you're all invited to join.*

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NWPR Books
4:28 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Book News: Italy Has A New Reality Show — For Writers

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Historic Boat
3:57 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Former Steinbeck Boat Waits In Port Townsend Dry-Dock Limbo

Anne Shaffer Coastal Watershed Institute

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 4:39 pm


The Port of Port Townsend, Wash., is providing a temporary home to a piece of literary history. But the dry-docked sardine fishing boat once chartered by the writer John Steinbeck faces an uncertain fate. 


The 76-foot boat's original name was the Western Flyer. In 1940, John Steinbeck and marine biologist Ed Ricketts (who later inspired the character Doc in "Cannery Row") chartered the wood vessel for a cruise around Baja California.

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