Margaret's Reviews > Steinbeck: A Life in Letters

Steinbeck by Elaine Steinbeck
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's review
Jul 31, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: memoir-biography
Read in January, 1988

This is an odd book to have on a list of personal standouts, but it's there because, quite apart from being a terrific collection of correspondence from a man who dealt with everything including his own psyche by expressing it in writing to other people, I happened to be reading it during a very bad and lonely patch and suddenly found him articulating exactly what I was feeling and going through. I can still remember the revelation and the relief of discovering someone else had been there and made it to the other side: it was just as Alan Bennett describes in THE HISTORY BOYS, the feeling that someone has reached a hand up - in this case quite a big strong hand - out of the pages to grasp yours, and I still feel grateful to Steinbeck in a weirdly personal way for that reassurance.
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