During the next five years he supported himself as a laborer and journalist in New York City, all the time working on his first novel, Cup of Gold (1929).
After marriage and a move to Pacific Grove, he published two California books, The Pastures of Heaven (1932) and To a God Unknown (1933), and worked on short stories later collected in The Long Valley (1938).
He drives a brand new three-quarter ton pickup camper truck and travels with his dog Charley.
His purpose is to learn something about the vast United States and write a book about his experiences.
At the Maple River in North Dakota, the author meets an interesting traveling Shakespearean performer.
Steinbeck spends a night in the Bad Lands of South Dakota, where he discovers that the area is much more friendly and beautiful at night than in the daytime.
Cannery Row (1945), The Wayward Bus (1948), another experimental drama, Burning Bright (1950), and The Log from the Sea of Cortez (1951) preceded publication of the monumental East of Eden (1952), an ambitious saga of the Salinas Valley and his own family’s history.
The last decades of his life were spent in New York City and Sag Harbor with his third wife, with whom he traveled widely.
Popular success and financial security came only with Tortilla Flat (1935), stories about Monterey’s paisanos.
A ceaseless experimenter throughout his career, Steinbeck changed courses regularly.