Now, a Literary Moment...
John Steinbeck won a Pulitzer Prize for The Grapes of Wrath, and went on to receive the Nobel Prize for literature. Yet he was essentially self-educated. Steinbeck attended Stanford University -- but never graduated.
Jay Parini: His real education, I think, happened when he was working as a caretaker for a cottage at Lake Tahoe when he was in his mid-20s, and he read everything in that cottage. He had with him, especially the poems of Walt Whitman, the essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson, and most importantly, Walden by Henry David Thoreau. These were the books he studied and loved. He read Mark Twain very carefully. He was very much in touch with the traditions and currents of American literature. So, like many writers, Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald to some degree, he was self-taught.
John Steinbeck's biographer, Jay Parini.
This Literary Moment was created by the National Endowment for the Arts
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