The Composition, Publication, and Reception of John Steinbeck's The Wayward Bus, with Biographical Background: Synopsis Chapter One The Wandering Years: 1940-1945
Version of Record online: 14 JUN 2011
© 2011 The Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies/Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Volume 8, Issue 1, page 21, Spring 2011
How to Cite
SIMMONDS, R. (2011), The Composition, Publication, and Reception of John Steinbeck's The Wayward Bus, with Biographical Background: Synopsis Chapter One The Wandering Years: 1940-1945. Steinbeck Review, 8: 21. doi: 10.1111/j.1754-6087.2011.01139_1.x
- Issue online: 14 JUN 2011
- Version of Record online: 14 JUN 2011
In the Fall 2010 Steinbeck Review began the serial, posthumous publication of Roy Simmonds's book, The Composition, Publication, and Reception of John Steinbeck’s The Wayward Bus, with Biographical Background. In her introduction to this first chapter, which she has edited and prepared for publication in Steinbeck Review, Barbara Heavilin explains how she came to possess this previously unpublished work. Simmonds's life is a story of a devoted family man, a civil servant, a Steinbeck lover, and an unlikely, but erudite, scholar. The first chapter of his book—“The Wandering Years: 1940-1945”—catalogues the period leading up to the fifty-three working days that Steinbeck spent writing his tenth published novel, The Wayward Bus. Simmonds presents the troubling character of those years as inevitable after the unexpected success of The Grapes of Wrath and its resulting renown for Steinbeck. The period was a whirlwind of professional and personal activity, nearly all of it plagued by turmoil. What makes Simmonds's biographical chapter on this period a singular piece is the focus on the life and professional details as a prelude and context for the writing of The Wayward Bus. We believe that this second chapter, “New York Is a Wonderful City: January—April 1946” will continue to make readers eager to read the rest of the book, which will be published chapter by chapter in the ensuing issues of Steinbeck Review.