New York: Viking Press, 1939. First Edition. Near Fine/Near Fine. Inscribed by the author "For Barrett Kiesling, with kind regards | John Steinbeck." Kiesling has also written his name, dated in April 24, 1939 (ten days after the official publication date), and in pencil "MGM Studios Culver City Calif." is written. Kiesling was the Publicity Director at MGM for roughly 30 years (1928 - 1955), he also wrote a book on film, "Talking Pictures," published in 1937. MGM released a film version of Steinbeck's Tortilla Flat (written in 1935) in 1942, so it seems likely that Steinbeck's relationship with Kiesling began in the mid to late 1930s. Kiesling, being a collector, amassed a sizable collection of signed and inscribed first editions from noteworthy authors of his day. True presentation copies of "The Grapes of Wrath" are scarce. A Near Fine copy of the book, with a few little nicks or creases to pages and bottom of text block a bit dusty (from resting on the shelf). In a Near Fine dust jacket, slightly toned and rubbed on the spine and one small tear at the top of the rear panel. Corners of rear flap clipped. An excellent copy, nonetheless.Steinbeck's classic account of the Dust Bowl and Depression era struggle of the Joad family, "The Grapes of Wrath" is a quintessential American classic. It would win both the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize committee would refer to it as Steinbeck's "epic chronicle" upon giving him the award in 1962. The book was the best selling novel of 1939 and became instantly controversial upon its release for its depiction of farmers and worker rights. Of course, "The Grapes of Wrath" was also adapted into the classic 1940 film, directed by John Ford and starring Henry Fonda, which was one of the first films selected by The Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. "It is a very 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." (Contemporary New York Times Review). Near Fine in Near Fine dust jacket.
(Inventory #: 1664)
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