Posts Tagged 'John Steinbeck'

Steinbeck In Search of America series

Steinbeck and Charley at his Sag Harbor home.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Sat. Sept. 10, 5pm:  at The Church Travels with Charley at 60  with Steinbeck scholar, Susan Shillinglaw. Shillinglaw is English professor at San Jose State University and former Director of the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, California. Fee, $10. Registration required. Please register HERE.

Sun. Sept. 11, 2 – 4pm:  Dramatic Readings from Steinbeck’s work, with music, food & celebration at Canio’s Lawn. Featuring Harris Yulin, Kate Mueth, Peter Walsh, and Vay David. Silent Auction fundraiser for Canio’s Cultural Cafe, an educational non-profit. Fee, $10.

Weds., Sept 14 6pm: at the Sag Harbor Cinema, film screening of Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath with special guest. More information and tickets HERE.

Sat. Sept. 17, 5pm: Professor Fred Gardaphe on Steinbeck’s representations of Italians and comparison of Pietro Di Donato’s Christ in Concrete, with Grapes of Wrath. Both published 1939.

Canio’s Cultural Cafe presents Steinbeck, In Search of America, a series of talks, films and more celebrating Sag Harbor’s Nobel Prize-winning writer, John Steinbeck.  It began in May with a talk by scholar Susan Shillinglaw. You can at this link:  Steinbeck & the Importance of Home

The Sag Harbor Cinema, John Jermain Library and The Church are all participating in this community celebration.

PRIOR EVENTS:

Sun. May 1, 4pm:  Sag Harbor Cinema Projections series on the Steinbeck Writers Center project: a panel moderated by Steve Hamilton, co-founder of Bay Street Theatre with Tommy John Schiavoni, Southampton Town Councilman; Bret Johnston, Director of the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas in Austin; and Kathryn Szoka, co-owner of Canio’s Books. The discussion focused on Steinbeck’s work as well as the campaign to create a world-class writing center in Steinbeck’s former home on Bluff Point Road. Afterwards, The Forgotten Village documentary was screened.

Thurs. May 19, 6pm:  in the Rotunda at John Jermain Library. Discussion of The Moon Is Down, with guest lecturer Donald V. Coers on John Steinbeck’s World War II novel. Coers will discuss the relevance of this powerful resistance story today.   Richard Hart, Steinbeck Review editor, will join the discussion. You can listen HERE.

Donald V. Coers is professor of English at Sam Houston State University in Texas. He is author of John Steinbeck as Propagandist: “The Moon Is Down” Goes to War and After The Grapes of Wrath: Essays on John Steinbeck. The Moon is Down tells the story of a military occupation in a small town by an unnamed nation at war with England. A French language translation of the book was published illegally in Nazi-occupied France by a French Resistance publishing house. Numerous other editions were also secretly published across all of occupied Europe, including Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, and Italian versions (as well as a Swedish version); it was the best known work of U.S. literature in the Soviet Union during the war. Written with the purpose of motivating resistance movements in occupied countries, the book has appeared in at least 92 editions across the world.

Weds. May 25, 6pm: at the Sag Harbor Cinema, film screening of Steinbeck’s The Moon Is Down with Q & A following.

Thurs. Aug 4, 6pm: at the Sag Harbor Cinema, film screening of Steinbeck’s Viva Zapata with Q & A following. Directed by Elia Kazan and starring Marlon Brando. The screenplay was written by Steinbeck, using Edgcomb Pinchon’s 1941 book Zapata the Unconquerable as a guide. The cast includes Anthony Quinn, who won an Academy Award for his performance. More information and tickets HERE.

Sat. Sept. 10, 5pm:  at The Church Travels with Charley at 60  with Steinbeck scholar, Susan Shillinglaw. Shillinglaw is English professor at San Jose State University and former Director of the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, California. Fee, $10. Registration required. Please register HERE.

Sun. Sept. 11, 2-4pm:  Dramatic Readings from Steinbeck’s work, with music & celebration at Canio’s Lawn. Featuring Harris Yulin, Paul McIsaac, and Vay David. Silent Auction fundraiser for Canio’s Cultural Cafe, an educational non-profit.

Weds., Sept 14 6pm: at the Sag Harbor Cinema, film screening of Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath with special guest. More information and tickets HERE.

Sat. Sept. 17, 5pm: Professor Fred Gardaphe on Steinbeck’s representations of Italians and comparison of Pietro Di Donato’s Christ in Concrete, with Grapes of Wrath. Both published 1939.

To help support this series, a donation can be made to: Canio’s Cultural Cafe

The mission of Canio’s Cultural Cafe (CCC) is to support and engender community interest in the cultural arts, with an emphasis on literature, visual arts, and current events. The CCC will accomplish this by hosting lectures, workshops, seminars and other public forums that will include a diversity of artists, writers, educators, independent scholars, students, and community members who might not otherwise be heard.  Canio’s Cultural Cafe is a 501 (c)(3).

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Preserving Steinbeck’s Home

Remember him, Remember HIM,” were Elaine Steinbeck’s parting words to Sag Harbor’s Nada Barry at John Steinbeck’s funeral.


You can you help us remember John with a small but mighty donation HERE.

We are at the brink of an extraordinary opportunity — we have the chance to save his home in Sag Harbor as a Writers’ Retreat for future generations, spearheaded by Canio’s Books and the Sag Harbor Partnership, and aided by a prestigious University willing to guide and further fund its development once purchased. We are not far from making an acceptable bid to the willing seller, but we need your help to get us to the finish line.

We continue to seek additional pledges and funding sources. And, because we have made good progress, it is now possible for everyone to participate with a small but mighty donation and join the team.  Our initial small donation goal is $250,000. 

Would you please stand with us and donate $10, $50, or even $100 or more if you can, to make the Steinbeck Writers’ Retreat a reality, and save this international treasure?    

If our efforts to purchase the Steinbeck home do not succeed, all funds collected will be donated to the Sag Harbor Food Pantry and Volunteer Fire Department, something we believe Steinbeck would have blessed. 

We are so close, and with your help, we firmly believe that we will realize our goal to preserve Steinbeck’s legacy, his iconic homestead, and to remember John. 
Thank you for your time and your support! 

Please DONATE HERE

If you can make a pledge of $500 or more please contact us directly at info@sagharborpartnership.org for information. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.


2021

Imagine wrapping John Steinbeck’s home on Bluff Point with a gigantic red bow and presenting it to the literary world as a gift for the ages. This you could do today, February 27, Steinbeck’s birthday, with a cool $17.9 million, the asking price for the waterfront property where the Nobel Prize-winner once lived. In a more cultured world, that property and especially Steinbeck’s writer’s studio would be preserved for its world-wide literary value. Steinbeck wrote his last novel, The Winter of our Discontent, in that studio he named Joyous Garde, looking out on Sag Harbor Cove. His book Travels with Charley begins when Hurricane Donna kicks up those same waters and threatens his beloved boat, named for his wife, The Fayre Eleyne.  So maybe we band together with half a million friends and split the costs, however that would work out? Maybe squat the property? Better yet, let’s get local, regional, national agencies interested enough to add their voices and their coffers to this worthy cause. Sag Harbor village prides itself on being a writers’ village. Steinbeck was deeply fond of our place, and even founded our first Whalers festival. Couldn’t the village, the state and beyond recognize the importance of preserving this literary treasure? We sure hope so. Happy Birthday, John Steinbeck!

Listen HERE as co-owner Kathryn Szoka joins the Southampton Press Group to discuss saving Steinbeck’s place.

SIGN this PETITION to SAVE his Sag Harbor home. Sign NOW. Share widely. Many thanks!

Join Canio’s Book Groups!

You’ve asked and we’re responding with plans for two book discussions this fall/winter. After the outpouring of interest in the Moby Dick Marathon this June, some have wondered, what about the women? We think Sena Jeter Naslund’s Ahab’s Wife is the perfect response. Taking off from a passing reference in Melville’s Moby-Dick, Naslund spins an engrossing epic of the adventures of one feisty woman. “Captain Ahab was neither my first husband nor my last,” she says in the book’s opening line. Hold fast to the ropes, dear readers, you’re in for one unforgettable Nantucket sleigh ride.

We’ve also heard the cry for “more Steinbeck!” So we’re starting with the novel he wrote while living in Sag Harbor. Set in the fictional New Baytown and inspired by Sag Harbor, Winter of Our Discontent explores the moral crisis faced by one Ethan Hawley, son of Pilgrim Fathers and whaling captains, now a  clerk at the town’s grocery store (think Schiavoni’s).

Each group will be led by a guest facilitator. Sign up for the groups and receive a discount on purchase of the books.

Steinbeck Spirit in Sag Harbor

An afternoon of spring cleaning on a day that actually feels like the season, yielded a surprise. A charming copy of John Steinbeck’s The Red Pony surfaced like a fragile  crocus finally breaking ground. This limited edition volume, published in 1937 by Covici Friede Publishers , shows signs of age and wear, but also bears the tiny sticker from New York’s famed Holliday Bookshop. A beloved shop that specialized in British and American literary works, Holliday became an institution over its 30-plus years in business.

Later this month we welcome Steinbeck scholar Susan Shillinglaw back to Sag Harbor. She’ll speak on Saturday, April 26 at 5 p.m. as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the publication of The Grapes of Wrath. Our copy of The Red Pony  is signed by Steinbeck and dedicated to his first wife Carol, (see also Shillinglaw’s Carol and John Steinbeck: Portrait of a Marriage).

The osprey are back now reminding us of Steinbeck’s love/hate relationship with these mighty raptors. Mostly love.  See his humorous essay “My War With the Osprey” reprinted in our Sag Harbor Is: a Literary Celebration.  His “war” turns out to be a jousting match between two clever species, one human, one avian. Guess who wins?

I field a call from a friend considering entering the book business. What advice do I have? Well, considering it’s the first of the month,  April Fool’s Day in fact, and our  rent’s due, I advise extreme caution.  Yet the appearance of The Red Pony feels hopeful. Our copy’s for sale. It’s number 535 of 699, signed and printed on handmade paper. What’s it worth to you?

Steinbeck Slept Here!

Today, February 27,  is John Steinbeck’s birthday as noted, thoughtfully, but incompletely by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac. (http://app.info.americanpublicmediagroup.org/e/es?s=1715082578&e=9333&elq=daf1cddcd35f43fa88e5fe39e05aa6ae)

We must add that Steinbeck lived, worked, fished, drank and generally had a good time here in Sag Harbor on the East End of Long Island. Some have called ours a “charming fishing village” not dissimilar to Steinbeck’s beloved Monterey Bay. Steinbeck spent the last decade of his life here, driving out from New York when his works were performed on Broadway stages.

We see a steady stream of  Steinbeck fans on pilgrimage who stop in to ask about where he lived — The writer’s home is now a private residence overlooking Sag Harbor Cove.  Our literary walking tours always wind up there, a respectful distance from the place he wrote The Winter of Our Discontent. It’s said he based several characters on Sag Harbor locals. Steinbeck’s American road book, Travels with Charley begins here in the wind-churned cove, just as Hurricane Donna blows through:”Under the big oak trees of my place at Sag Harbor sat Rocinante…”

John found pals among the locals, fishing buddies and drinking buddies in the days of the notorious Black Buoy bar when Sag Harbor was a place God-fearing mothers forbade their kids from venturing to. But local folks just let Steinbeck be Steinbeck, allowed him his privacy.  In a show of affection for what was then a proudly blue-collar town, Steinbeck helped create our Whalers festival, a giant street parade and rowdy weekend party featuring boat races that once brought sailors and boozers from far and near. The festival, now toned down as Sag Harbor has gone upscale,  is celebrated as HarborFest,  in early September when the crowds have dissipated, but when the weather’s still fine.

Steinbeck conducted his war with the ospreys here, as described in a humorous piece we included in our Sag Harbor Is: A Literary Celebration.  At the centenary of his birth, we hosted a Steinbeck celebration with an exhibit of photographs from the family collection and a stirring tribute by Steinbeck’s friend, the late Budd Schulberg. There’s a beautiful bronze bust of the writer in our beloved John Jermain Library, a tribute to the village’s claim on the Nobel Prize winner.

All this to say, Steinbeck once slept here! He lived here, played here, wrote here. Happy Birthday, John Steinbeck. Sag Harbor salutes you!


Canio’s Books is located at 290 Main Street, Sag Harbor, NY 11963, 631.725.4926. Call or email us, caniosbooks@verizon.net. While we love you to SEE you, you can also order new titles at our online storefront or some of our second hand inventory HERE. Thanks for visiting!