"I'LL BE EVER'WHERE—WHEREVER YOU LOOK. WHEREVER THEY'S A FIGHT SO HUNGRY PEOPLE CAN EAT, I'LL BE THERE": FIRST EDITION OF THE GRAPES OF WRATH
STEINBECK, John. The Grapes of Wrath. New York: Viking, (1939). Octavo, original pictorial beige cloth, illustrated endpapers, original dust jacket. $7200.
First edition, first issue, of Steinbeck's most important novel, his searing masterpiece of moral outrage and "intense humanity," winner of the 1940 Pulitzer Prize.
"It is a long novel, the longest that Steinbeck has written, and yet it reads as if it had been composed in a flash, ripped off the typewriter and delivered to the public as an ultimatum… Steinbeck has written a novel from the depths of his heart with a sincerity seldom equaled" (Peter Monro Jack). "The Grapes of Wrath is the kind of art that's poured out of a crucible in which are mingled pity and indignation… Its power and importance do not lie in its political insight but in its intense humanity… [It] is the American novel of the season, probably the year, possibly the decade" (Clifton Fadiman). First issue, with "First Published in April 1939" on copyright page and first edition notice on front flap of dust jacket. Goldstone & Payne A12a. Salinas Public Library, 29. Bruccoli & Clark I:354.
Interior very fresh, lightest toning to spine of about-fine book; mild edge-wear, small closed tear with tape reinforcement to verso of bright near-fine dust jacket.