For the first time in its history, the handwritten manuscript of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck will be published and released by independent publisher SP Books on October 7th. According to The Guardian, the handwritten manuscript of Steinbeck’s masterpiece classic will be complete with all the swearwords not included in the original published novel and will specifically show the urgency in which Steinbeck wrote the novel in under 100 days.
Steinbeck originally wrote The Grapes of Wrath in his diary between May and October 1938. He was inspired by his findings as a journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle when he was reporting on the migrant crossings and the major plights of California in 1938. Steinbeck felt it was his personal responsibility to get the story correct and chronicle these historic events authentically. He writes in his diary, the eventual manuscript:
“This must be a good book. It simply must. I haven’t any choice. It must be far and away the best thing I’ve ever attempted – slow but sure, piling detail on detail until a picture and an experience emerge.”
According to SP Books, Steinbeck’s manuscript is unique and a treat because it allows us to see what exactly he was thinking about during the early stages of The Grapes of Wrath, detailing even the difference in his handwriting from start to finish. Additionally, the manuscript will reveal how much his first wife, Carol Steinbeck, who was also his proofreader and typist, was involved with the book. This is surely a historic print and reveals the working process of one of the United States’ most widely known authors and books.
For more news in the publishing world, take a look at this article on a record-selling first edition copy of Frankenstein.