A John Steinbeck Encyclopedia by Brian Railsback

A John Steinbeck Encyclopedia

Brian Railsback
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Annotation

Known for his searing social criticism, John Steinbeck is one of the most popular and influential American writers of the 20th century. His works are read and studied at all levels and have been made into films. And though critics and scholars initially found fault with his enormously popular works, he is now widely recognizes as a master of his craft. This encyclopedia provides an extensive overview of his life and career and is accessible to high school students, undergraduates, and general readers. Presented are roughly 1200 alphabetically arranged entries by more than 40 expert contributors. These entries cover his works, major characters, family members and contemporaries, influences, and a range of special topics. Entries include: Henry Adams, Saul Bellow, Discourse, East of Eden, William Faulkner, Hollywood, Granpa Joad, Carl Jung, Herman Melville, Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech, Of Mice and Men, Pacific Biological Laboratory, Poetry, Short Story Cycle, Tagus Ranch, And many more. Many of the entries cite works for further reading, and the encyclopedia closes with a selected, general bibliography.

Publisher Description

One of the greatest novelists of the 20th century, John Steinbeck continues to be read and studied at all levels. This encyclopedia extensively overviews his life and writings. Included are roughly 1200 alphabetically arranged entries by more than 40 expert contributors. Entries cover his works, major characters, family members and contemporaries, influences, and various special topics related to his literary career. Many of the entries cite works for further reading, and the encyclopedia closes with a selected, general bibliography. Known for his searing social criticism, John Steinbeck is one of the most popular and influential American writers of the 20th century. His works are read and studied at all levels and have been made into films. And though critics and scholars initially found fault with his enormously popular works, he is now widely recognizes as a master of his craft. This encyclopedia provides an extensive overview of his life and career and is accessible to high school students, undergraduates, and general readers. Presented are roughly 1200 alphabetically arranged entries by more than 40 expert contributors.
These entries cover his works, major characters, family members and contemporaries, influences, and a range of special topics.

Review
"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

Author Biography

BRIAN RAILSBACK is Professor of English and founding dean of the Honors College at Western Carolina University. His previous books include Parallel Expeditions: Charles Darwin and the Art of John Steinbeck (1995). MICHAEL J. MEYER is Adjunct Professor of English at DePaul University and Northeastern Illinois University. His essays have appeared in such journals as Steinbeck Quarterly and the Steinbeck Newsletter, and he specialises in Steinbeck bibliography. His other books include The Betrayal of Brotherhood in the Work of John Steinbeck (2000).

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A John Steinbeck Encyclopedia