Last year I read John Steinbeck’s Tortilla Flat, and I’ll admit that I picked it up purely because the title caught my attention. I ended up not only loving the story, but Steinbeck’s writing.
How did I make it through all of my Honors English classes without being forced to read at least one of his works? … Well, I guess better late than never.
So this year I decided to read Of Mice and Men. (I like to mix a few classics into the new fiction that I read.)
Reading this book as a writer is fascinating because Steinbeck breaks “the rules” but he does it beautifully. While reading Of Mice and Men, (and also Tortilla Flat), I wondered how Steinbeck researched before writing. How did he manage to replicate so perfectly the language and lifestyle of migrant laborers?
My answer came at the back of the book in the “About the Author” section.
“John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California, in 1902. His first three books were financial failures, and he worked at various kinds of jobs to survive, including fruit picking…”
A good reminder for writers to “write what you know”.