The Big Read Blog (Archive)

The Grapes of Wrath

It’s astonishing how many Big Read authors were former journalists. Ernest Hemingway, Dashiell Hammett, Charles Portis, and John Steinbeck to name a few. Thom Steinbeck, John’s son, and scholar Susan Shillinglaw teach us where John got the idea for his gripping paean to the oppressed, The Grapes of...
What do these three tremendous actors have in common? They’ve all read excerpts of Big Read books, featured below. To hear the entire audio guides to these respective novels ---The Grapes of Wrath, The Death of Ivan Ilyich , and The Call of the Wild ---head over to The Big Read website . Start May...
Former National Council on the Arts members John Steinbeck and Ralph Ellison. Photo by R. Philip Hanes, Jr. Wednesday, February 27, would have marked John Steinbeck's 111st birthday. To celebrate the Big Read author, we pulled together a few fun facts about the American icon. Did you know...? When...
Drawing by John Sherffius. In this historic 1950 recording from NBC Radio, John Steinbeck discusses his work with one of his biggest fans, former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. What follows is a reaction by the author's son, writer Thom Steinbeck. [audio: http://bigreadblog.arts.gov//audio/...
Washington, DC Caricature of John Steinbeck by John Sherffius for The Big Read. John Steinbeck has touched millions of readers with The Grapes of Wrath , his epic, sprawling novel of rural life in the Great Depression. But his prose has touched writers as well, in some cases providing inspiration...
Washington, DC Travels with Charley by cdrummbks, courtesy of flickr There?s no question that the appeal of Big Read author John Steinbeck is timeless. Every year, The Grapes of Wrath is read by Big Read communities across the country, attracting new generations of fans. But John Biewen, Audio...
Washington, DC Book cover used courtesy of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., New York. The Grapes of Wrath is an epic novel that takes place during the Great Depression. It begins in Oklahoma, but once the crop-killing Dust Bowl hits, many families, namely the Joads, work their way west to California, to...
Ridgefield, Connecticut At the Ridgefield Arts Council?s 2010 Cultural Festival, folk musicians played Depression-era songs while another participant read a passage from The Grapes of Wrath . Photo courtesy of Ridgefield?s Big Read We love to see organizations come back to The Big Read year after...
Kenosha, Wisconsin Per Tom Carson, "Dr. Destruction is a local [Kenosha] celebrity who has a television show about horror movies. He is a regular user of the library and supports our core values. He approached us and asked how he could be involved in the The Big Read." Kenosha Public Library's Big...
October 13 , 2009 Washington, DC "Toward Los Angeles, California, 1937" by Dorothea Lange. From Farm Security Administration-Office of War Information collection at Library of Congress Writer Jay Parini's extensive bibliography includes John Steinbeck: A Biography . In this interview excerpt, the...

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