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Have YOU Read Your Steinbeck Yet?

California Stories: Reading The Grapes of Wrath

I must admit: Although I'm a reasonably well-educated college grad with a major in English, I have never read The Grapes of Wrath. And really (head hung with shame) it hasn't been at the top of my list lately. But now that everyone in the state is supposed to be reading it, maybe it's time to tackle the 600-page tome.

The California Council for the Humanities (CCH), a state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, is inviting and encouraging all Californians to read Steinbeck's Pulitzer prize-winning novel in preparation for events that will be taking place across the state, in over 146 public libraries and community centers.

From film programs and scholar-led discussions to musical events, family history days and dramatic readings, these events are designed to bring together contemporary readers to explore this landmark of American literature during the 100th anniversary of Steinbeck's birth.

Says Jim Quay, Executive Director of CCH, "We say all the time that California is diverse, but when you realize that across the state will be discussing The Grapes of Wrath in so many languages this October, it really hits home."

Though similar reading programs have occurred around the country at a city-wide level, no one has attempted a state-wide reading program until now.

All Northern California event listings are available at:

Here are a few choice selections:

An Evening with Studs Terkel and Calvin Trillin
Tuesday, October 1 @ 7:30 pm
Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco
CCH and the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies at San Jose State University are sponsoring an evening of conversation with Studs Terkel and Calvin Trillin. In one of the evening's highlights, Terkel will be presented with the John Steinbeck award, previously given to Jackson Browne, Arthur Miller, John Sayles and Bruce Springsteen. Tickets available at for $21.

Best of The Grapes of Wrath Reading
Saturday, October 5 @ 1 pm
San Francisco Public Library, Lower Level, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin St. (at Grove), SF, 415.557.4400
Sedge Thompson will be the MC for the day. Author Gerry Haslam will introduce the book. Members of Word for Word will read other sections.

John Ford's Classic Film, The Grapes of Wrath
Saturday, October 12 @ 3 pm
Parkway Theater 1834 Park Blvd., Oakland, 510.814.2400
All ages are welcome to this $3 matinee showing. There will also be two evening showings on Tuesday, October 15 @ 6:30 p and 9:15 pm for ages 21 and over. Evening tickets are half price with a library card.

For more information, visit