East of Eden

STEINBECK, John. East of Eden.

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"Everything else I have written has been, in a sense, practice for this" - Steinbeck

STEINBECK, John. East of Eden. New York: The Viking Press, 1952.

8vo. Publisher's green cloth, title printed in black to spine on brown block; in the original illustrated dust wrapper (not price-clipped); pp. [vi], 602; light fraying of cloth to head and tail of spine; with slight sunning to upper and lower edges of boards; some rubbing and chipping to extremities of wrapper, most concentrated at flap hinges; small portion of wrapper missing from tail of spine, with a crease to lower portion of upper panel; discolouration to edges but internally clean; a very good copy in the good wrapper.
First edition.
"It has everything I have been able to learn about my art or craft or profession in all these years"(Salinas Public Library, 45) wrote John Steinbeck of East of Eden, the novel he considered his magnum opus. The novel was coolly received when it was first published in 1952, but has grown in stature and popularity ever since, and is now recognised as the author’s most ambitious and accomplished work.
Set in the farmland of California's Salinas Valley, the novel is a combination of two interweaving storylines in two separate time periods; the American Civil War and the end of World War I. It follows the lives of two families, the Trasks and Hamiltons, and draws heavily on the biblical stories of Adam and Eve, and Cain and Abel, exploring the relationships between parents, children and brothers.
The book was later made into a 1955 film, directed by Elia Kazan, and loosely based on the second half of the novel. The film stars Julie Harris, Raymond Massey, and James Dean in his first major screen role.