Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Five great California novels

Janelle Brown named five great California novels for the Wall Street Journal.

One book on the list:
Cannery Row, by John Steinbeck.

When I was a teenager, my grandmother gave me the complete John Steinbeck collection; his books, with their portrait of California during the Depression, enthralled me. “Cannery Row” is a collection of vignettes about the fishery town of Monterey, and its down-at-their-heels denizens who attempt to throw a party.

“Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream.” This is how Steinbeck begins his book, and I think with this one line he captured an entire state, both then and now.
Read about another title on the list.

Cannery Row is one of Paulette Jiles's 12 favorite books.

--Marshal Zeringue