A Complete List of John Steinbeck's Works

Chronological List of the 20th Century American Writer's Books

Picture of John Steinbeck
American author John Steinbeck (1935).

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

John Steinbeck was a world-renowned novelist, playwright, essayist, and short-story writer. He was born in Salinas, California, in 1902. Growing up in a rural town he spent his summers working on local ranches, which exposed him to the harsh lives of migrant workers. These experiences would provide much of the inspiration for some of his most celebrated works such as "Of Mice and Men." He wrote so often and so realistically of the area where he grew up—Monterey, California—that it is now sometimes referred to as "Steinbeck Country."

Best Known Books

Steinbeck published thirty books, including several that were well-respected by both critics and the public. Among those are "Tortilla Flat," about a charming group of layabouts who live near Monterey; "The Grapes of Wrath" about a farming family fleeting the Dust Bowl of Oklahoma for California during the Great Depression; and "Of Mice and Men," a story of two itinerant ranch hands struggling to survive.

Many of Steinbeck's books centered around the trials and tribulations of Americans living in the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression. He also took inspiration for his writing from his time spent as a reporter. His work has stirred controversy and offered a unique view into what life was like for struggling low-income Americans. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his 1939 novel, "The Grapes of Wrath."

John Steinbeck's List of Works

  • 1927—Cup of Gold
  • 1932—The Pastures of Heaven
  • 1933—To a God Unknown
  • 1935—Tortilla Flat
  • 1936—In Dubious Battle
  • 1937Of Mice and Men
  • 1937—The Red Pony Stories
  • 1938—The Long Valley
  • 1939—The Grapes of Wrath
  • 1941—The Forgotten Village
  • 1941—Sea of Cortez: A Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research
  • 1942—The Moon Is Down
  • 1942—Bombs Away: The Story of a Bomber Team
  • 1945—Cannery Row
  • 1947—The Wayward Bus
  • 1947The Pearl
  • 1948—A Russian Journal
  • 1950—Burning Bright
  • 1951—The Log from the Sea of Cortez
  • 1952—East of Eden
  • 1954—Sweet Thursday
  • 1957—The Short Reign of Pippin IV: A Fabrication
  • 1958—Once There Was A War
  • 1961—The Winter of Our Discontent
  • 1962—Travels with Charley: In Search of America
  • 1966—America and Americans
  • 1969—Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters
  • 1975—Viva Zapata!
  • 1976—The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights
  • 1989—Working Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath

Nobel Prize for Literature 

In 1962 John Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, an award he did not think he deserved. The author was not alone in that thought, many literary critics were also unhappy with the decision. In 2012, the Nobel Prize revealed that the author had been a "compromise choice," chosen from a "bad lot" where none of the authors stood out. Many believed that Steinbeck's best work was already behind him by the time he was chosen for the award. Others believe that the criticism of his win was politically motivated. The author's anti-capitalist slant to his stories made him unpopular with many. In spite of this, he is still considered one of America's greatest writers. His books are regularly taught in American and British schools, sometimes as a bridge towards more complex literature.