- Purchase/rental options available:
Without question, the writings of John Steinbeck, one half century after his death, remain multifaceted cultural touchstones. Their presence and impact are apparent in a variety of venues: in talking points regarding contemporary migration debates, in criminal cases referencing the "Lenny Standard," and in Sarah Fox's Pancake House Mystery Series, which includes such titles as Yeast of Eden, The Crêpes of Wrath, and Of Spice and Men. This paper explores how Steinbeck's distinctive and diverse literary styles have made their way into two diverse novels of the millennium. Emma Straub's The Vacationers, selected by New York magazine as one of "The 100 Best Beach Reads," echoes plot and character elements from Steinbeck's 1947 novel of travel, The Wayward Bus. And the textured themes and narrative framework of Steinbeck's iconic novel of migration to California, The Grapes of Wrath (1939), are revisited and updated in Tommy Orange's 2018 novel of Native American life in the Golden State, There There.