Now, a Literary Moment...
John Steinbeck's classic novel, The Grapes Of Wrath, has inspired generations of readers --- as well as great writers. Like Ray Bradbury.
Ray Bradbury: When I read The Grapes of Wrath, I was 19. And I crossed the United States, I bought a copy at the United Cigar Store in Waukegan. And got on a Greyhound bus and took Route 66 like the Oakies, out toward California. And I sat in the bus reading The Grapes of Wrath. Jesus, God, it was beautiful."
Its profound impact on Bradbury was clear ten years later when he created his first major work --- an unusually linked collection of short stories.
Ray Bradbury: So when I had to put The Martian Chronicles together I remembered that Steinbeck had written his novel the same way, every other chapter is an action chapter and every other chapter is an essay on weather, or circumstances, or a turtle or the preacher, or some other character. So I said to myself, the way to tie together all my short stories is to imitate Steinbeck. No one's every discovered that. I had one fan letter in fifty years from a young man who wrote me last year and said, 'Mr. Bradbury, did The Grapes of Wrath influence you in writing The Martian Chronicles?' I wrote back and said, 'Yes! You're the only one who's ever discovered that.'
This Literary Moment was created by the National Endowment for the Arts
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