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Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Steinbeck’

Learning from John Steinbeck Letters

Novelist Thomas Steinbeck received a mountain of letters from his father, John Steinbeck. Over at The Hairpin, the son of the late Nobel Prize winning author talked about what he learned from these letters.

Follow this link to read a letter Steinbeck wrote about relationship advice. Thomas has written a number of books, most recently The Silver Lotus. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

my father sent me this very long letter, and he had very tiny handwriting — he wrote by hand — and it was like an 18-page letter. It took me a week to decipher this thing, because of his handwriting, primarily. And when I got to the very end of it, I noticed at the very bottom, he said, “Son, I want to apologize. I would’ve sent you a note but I didn’t have the time!”

Meaning, that ultimately, the greatest amount of time in all writing is spent editing. My father said there’s only one trick to writing, and that’s not writing, that’s writing and rewriting and rewriting and rewriting. Like sculpture. I mean, the first thing off the top of your head isn’t the most brilliant thing you ever thought of. And then when you’re writing about it, when you want others to understand what you’re still talking about, then it really requires that you edit yourself really, really well, so that other people can comprehend it.

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Rachel Maddow Wins John Steinbeck Award

Author and The Rachel Maddow Show host Rachel Maddow has won the John Steinbeck Award.

Previous recipients included Joan Baez, Bruce Springsteen, Arthur Miller, Studs Terkel and Garrison Keillor. Maddow is the third woman to receive the prestigious award and the first recipient under the age of 40.

Thomas Steinbeck, son of the great John Steinbeck, had this statement in the release: “My father would have adored Rachel Maddow … Listening to Rachel Maddow is like listening to Walter Cronkite. We have that kind of trust in her. When I watch Rachel Maddow, I feel like I’m part of an alliance. I hope she’s in it for the long haul, because we really need her.”

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Supreme Court Rejects Appeal by John Steinbeck’s Son

steinbeck.jpgYesterday the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by John Steinbeck‘s relatives over a copyright case, sparking bitter remarks about publishing.

According to the NY Times, a district court judge ruled in 2006 that Steinbeck’s son, Thomas Steinbeck and granddaughter, Blake Smyle, could reclaim the rights to ten novels by Steinbeck–ending a 1994 contract with Penguin. In 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals overturned that ruling, and the son and granddaughter had hoped the U.S. Supreme Court would reconsider.

Here’s a response from Steinbeck’s son posted at PR Newswire: “At stake is far more than our own situation–the Supreme Court could have protected all the authors and artists in America from a future of intellectual bondage to big corporate publishers. The publishers, like slave-owners characterized by Abraham Lincoln, want to command writers, ‘You grow the grain, you make the bread, and we’ll eat it.’” (Via Publishers Lunch)