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  • Published: 1 May 2014
  • ISBN: 9780718196479
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 46

The Chrysanthemums



Elisa Allen is tending her chrysanthemums. Strong, with a handsome face she skilfully and proudly cultivates the best in the valley. Tonight, her husband is taking her to town. While she works, a squeak of heels and a plod of hoofs bring a curious vehicle, curiously drawn: a tradesman looking for directions and a job. He is met with curt replies and a hardened resistance. Then he notices her chrysanthemums. With his characteristic insight and evocative language, John Steinbeck creates a short story of a brief but striking encounter. Set in Salinas Valley, where he grew up, it dissects the myriad complexities of humanity, society and hidden longings.

  • Published: 1 May 2014
  • ISBN: 9780718196479
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 46

About the author

John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California, in 17 February 1902. After studying English at Stanford University, he held several jobs including working as a hod-carrier, apprentice painter, laboratory assistant, ranch hand, fruit-picker, construction worker at Madison Square Gardens, New York, and reporter for the New York American. In 1935 he became a full-time writer and was a special writer for the United States Army Air Force during World War II.

Among his most renowned works are Of Mice and Men, Cannery Row, East of Eden and The Grapes of Wrath, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1940.

In 1926 Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature as a mark of his outstanding contribution to literature, his unquestionable popularity and his versatility. In his speech accepting the Nobel Prize, Steinbeck gave his view of authorship: 'The ancient omission of the writer has not changed. He is charged with exposing our may grevious faults and failures, with dredging up to the light our dark and dangerous dreams for the purpose of improvement. Furthermore, the writer is delegated to declare and to celebrate man's proven capacity for greatness of heart and spirit for gallantry in defeat - for courage, compassion and love.'

John Steinbeck died on 20th December 1968.

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