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Burning Bright

A Play in Story Form

Introduction by John Ditsky
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Paperback
$13.00 US
5.1"W x 7.7"H x 0.3"D  
On sale Nov 28, 2006 | 128 Pages | 978-0-14-303944-0
| Grades 9-12 + AP/IB
The last of John Steinbeck’s play-novelettes and his final attempt, after 1937’s Of Mice and Men and 1942’s The Moon is Down, to create what he saw as a new, experimental literary form

A Penguin Classic


Four scenes, four people: the husband who yearns for a son, ignorant of his own sterility; the wife who commits adultery to fulfill her husband’s wish; the father of the child; and the outsider whose actions will affect them all. In this turn on a medieval morality play, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck casts an unwavering light on these four intertwined lives, revealing in their finely drawn circumstances the universal contours of vulnerability and passion, desperation and desire. This edition features an introduction and notes for further reading by Steinbeck scholar John Ditsky. 

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,800 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
John Steinbeck, born in Salinas, California, in 1902, grew up in a fertile agricultural valley, about 25 miles from the Pacific Coast. Both the valley and the coast would serve as settings for some of his best fiction. In 1919 he went to Stanford University, where he intermittently enrolled in literature and writing courses until he left in 1925 without taking a degree. 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). 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. Three powerful novels of the late 1930s focused on the California laboring class: In Dubious Battle (1936), Of Mice and Men (1937), and the book considered by many his finest, The Grapes of Wrath (1939). The Grapes of Wrath won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in 1939. Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962, and, in 1964, he was presented with the United States Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Steinbeck died in New York in 1968. Today, more than 30 years after his death, he remains one of America's greatest writers and cultural figures. View titles by John Steinbeck
By the Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

“A morality play conceived with poetic intensity.”New York Herald Tribune
 
“[Burning Bright’s] four solitary characters are neither flesh-and-blood nor stock figures; husband, wife, friend, outsider, they are the legendary archetypes of folklore, speaking a spare, bare-boned language salted with color—a kind of abstract folk speech that is stilted, poetic and moving.”The New York Times

About

The last of John Steinbeck’s play-novelettes and his final attempt, after 1937’s Of Mice and Men and 1942’s The Moon is Down, to create what he saw as a new, experimental literary form

A Penguin Classic


Four scenes, four people: the husband who yearns for a son, ignorant of his own sterility; the wife who commits adultery to fulfill her husband’s wish; the father of the child; and the outsider whose actions will affect them all. In this turn on a medieval morality play, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck casts an unwavering light on these four intertwined lives, revealing in their finely drawn circumstances the universal contours of vulnerability and passion, desperation and desire. This edition features an introduction and notes for further reading by Steinbeck scholar John Ditsky. 

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,800 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Author

John Steinbeck, born in Salinas, California, in 1902, grew up in a fertile agricultural valley, about 25 miles from the Pacific Coast. Both the valley and the coast would serve as settings for some of his best fiction. In 1919 he went to Stanford University, where he intermittently enrolled in literature and writing courses until he left in 1925 without taking a degree. 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). 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. Three powerful novels of the late 1930s focused on the California laboring class: In Dubious Battle (1936), Of Mice and Men (1937), and the book considered by many his finest, The Grapes of Wrath (1939). The Grapes of Wrath won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in 1939. Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962, and, in 1964, he was presented with the United States Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Steinbeck died in New York in 1968. Today, more than 30 years after his death, he remains one of America's greatest writers and cultural figures. View titles by John Steinbeck

Praise

By the Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

“A morality play conceived with poetic intensity.”New York Herald Tribune
 
“[Burning Bright’s] four solitary characters are neither flesh-and-blood nor stock figures; husband, wife, friend, outsider, they are the legendary archetypes of folklore, speaking a spare, bare-boned language salted with color—a kind of abstract folk speech that is stilted, poetic and moving.”The New York Times

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