To hear the speech of the real America, to smell the grass and the trees, to see the colors and the light— these were John Steinbeck's goals as he set out, at the age of fifty-eight, to rediscover the country he had been writing about for so many years.
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In September 1960, John Steinbeck and his poodle, Charley, embarked on a journey across America. A picaresque tale, this chronicle of their trip meanders along scenic backroads and speeds along anonymous superhighways, moving from small towns to growing cities to glorious wilderness oases. Travels with Charley is animated by Steinbeck's attention to the specific details of the natural world and his sense of how the lives of people are intimately connected to the rhythms of nature - to weather, geography, the cycles of the seasons. His keen ear for the transactions among people is evident, too, as he records the interests and obsessions that preoccupy the Americans he encounters along the way.About the Author:
John Steinbeck (1902–1968) was born in Salinas, California. He worked as a laborer and a journalist, and in 1935, when he published Tortilla Flat, he achieved popular success and financial security. Steinbeck wrote more than twenty-five novels and won the Nobel Prize in 1962.
Jay Parini teaches English at Middlebury College and is the author of five novels, including The Last Station. He lives in Vermont.
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