The masterpiece of Steinbeck’s later years–a vastly ambitious novel that is at once a family saga and a modern retelling of the Book of Genesis
In his journal, Steinbeck called East of Eden “the first book,” and indeed it has the primordial power and simplicity of myth. Set in the rich farmland of California’s Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families–the Trasks and the Hamiltons–whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel. Here is a work in which Steinbeck created his most mesmerizing characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity, the inexplicability of love, and the murderous consequences of love’s absence.
“A fantasia of history and myth . . . a strange and original work of art”–The New York Times Book Review