Author to speak on Nobel laureate

John Steinbeck, a Nobel prize winner in literature in 1962, published novels that can be described as social novels dealing with the economic problems of rural labor, but there is also a streak of worship of the soil in his books, which does not always agree with his matter-of-fact sociological approach, as stated on The Nobel Prize website.

Author William Souder
Author William Souder

Author William Souder will speak about his new biography, “Mad at the World: A Life of John Steinbeck” from noon to 1 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2, in a live virtual event.

Souder’s talk is part of the Brown Bag Lunch author visit presented as live virtual events on the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library Facebook page, as the Brainerd Public Library is closed to in-person events.

According to the news release, Souder’s book is the first full-length biography of the Nobel laureate to appear in a quarter century. “Mad at the World” illuminates what has made the work of Steinbeck an enduring part of the literary canon — his capacity for empathy. Pulitzer Prize finalist Souder explores Steinbeck’s long apprenticeship as a writer struggling through the depths of the Great Depression, and his rise to greatness with masterpieces such as “The Red Pony,” “Of Mice and Men” and “The Grapes of Wrath.”

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Angered by the plight of the Dust Bowl migrants who were starving even as they toiled to harvest California’s limitless bounty, fascinated by the guileless decency of the downtrodden denizens of Cannery Row, and appalled by the country’s refusal to recognize the humanity

common to all of its citizens — Steinbeck took a stand against social injustice — paradoxically given his inherent misanthropy — setting him apart from the writers of the so-called “lost generation,” the release stated.


Souder is the author of three books:

  • “A Plague of Frogs,” published in 2000, followed the investigation of outbreaks of deformed frogs across North America;

  • “Under a Wild Sky,” published in 2004 was a biography of John James Audubon. The biography won numerous awards and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

  • “On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson,” was published by Crown in September 2012 on the 50th anniversary of Carson’s “Silent Spring.” It was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and was named one of the 25 Best Nonfiction Books of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews. Souder lives in Grant, Minnesota.

This presentation is sponsored by the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library through their volunteer and fundraising efforts.
The Friends of the Brainerd Public Library are celebrating the 21st season of the Brown Bag Lunch Author Series with a lineup of award-winning and acclaimed Minnesota writers.

For more information, contact the library at 218-829-5574 or visit the Friends of the Library’s

Facebook page at .

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