Cannery Row (1945), The Wayward Bus (1948), another experimental drama, Burning Bright (1950), and The Log from the Sea of Cortez (1951) preceded publication of the monumental East of Eden (1952), an ambitious saga of the Salinas Valley and his own family’s history.
The last decades of his life were spent in New York City and Sag Harbor with his third wife, with whom he traveled widely.
Travels with Charley is animated by Steinbeck's attention to the specific details of the natural world and his sense of how the lives of people are intimately connected to the rhythms of nature - to weather, geography, the cycles of the seasons.
His keen ear for the transactions among people is evident, too, as he records the interests and obsessions that preoccupy the Americans he encounters along the way.
Charley is a lovable mutt and the good ol' US of A is a lovable place.
John Steinbeck, born in Salinas, California, in 1902, grew up in a fertile agricultural valley, about twenty-five miles from the Pacific Coast.He shares a bottle of fine cognac with the workers who appreciate the gift very much due to their French ancestry.After a disturbing encounter with an empty restaurant, Steinbeck attempts to cross the border into Canada.Early in the 1940s, Steinbeck became a filmmaker with The Forgotten Village (1941) and a serious student of marine biology with Sea of Cortez (1941).He devoted his services to the war, writing Bombs Away (1942) and the controversial play-novelette The Moon is Down (1942).He also discovers that Montana is his favorite state except that it has no seacoast.The development of Seattle gives the author a feeling that the nature of building up a place seems like destruction too.Popular success and financial security came only with Tortilla Flat (1935), stories about Monterey’s paisanos.A ceaseless experimenter throughout his career, Steinbeck changed courses regularly.His route takes him through Vermont, where he discusses politics with a farmer, and up to the northernmost part of Maine.There he meets a clan of Canadian migrant workers who help with the potato harvest.