A John Steinbeck EncyclopediaBrian Railsback
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"Having had such a reference would have saved Railsback countless hours of labor if such had been available when he began his studies of this multi-genre and 1962 Nobel Prize-winning author. He and Meyer head a team of Steinbeck scholars in compiling relevant topics from Abner, the Aerial Engineer (in Bombs Away) to The Wrath of John Steinbeck (a pamphlet written by a friend in 1939). In addition to alphabetical and topical lists of entries, the volume includes a Steinbeck chronology (1902-1968) and introductory essay by Steinbeck biographer Jackson J. Benson. An annotated list of Steinbeck archives is appended." - Reference & Research Book News "More than 1,200 alphabetical entries cover Steinbeck's major works along with lesser-known articles, family, friends and biographers, books read, and awards. An introductory essay by Steinbeck scholar Jackson J. Benson, a list of Steinbeck archives, university collections, and research centers, and an extensive bibliography add dimension to the numerous lengthy, signed entries. An alphabetical list of entries begins the encyclopedia, providing a useful, quick overview of the main text. An additional topical list indicates the volume's scope, grouping entries under headings for specific awards; concepts and characters in Steinbeck's works; literary, political, and cultural influences; and places, ships, and vehicles, both real and fictional. Entries guide users to additional and related information through boldfaced terms and names, along with see references. The editors specifically designed the encyclopedia for use by high school and college students, literature teachers, and scholars. A detailed index completes the work. Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers.“ - Choice ”[T]his Encyclopedia will serve the needs of a diverse audience, from high school students to established academics, very well... it is full of well-organized information on Steinbeck's life and work, and it does provide a panoramic sweep of the history of scholarship on this major author.“ - Reference Reviews ”Wide-ranging alphabetical entries, many of which have source notes, cover characters, settings, and the people and places that influenced Steinbeck's life and work. Commentary on the author's nonfiction writing makes up about half of the entries. Information on both the print and film versions of various titles adds a dimension and reminds readers how Steinbeck's universal themes easily translate into other mediums. Further-reading lists for many of the entries are useful...[t]he editors have supplied a well-researched study of the writer's art and the people and places that shaped it. This will be a quality addition to collections with other sources of literary criticism, and a good start for those without." - School Library Journal