First Edition of Steinbeck's Third NovelJohn Steinbeck. Tortilla Flat. New York: Covici Friede, 1935. First edition. Octavo. vi, 317 pages. Illustrated by Ruth Gannett. Publisher's tan cloth over boards, with blue lettering to spine. Top edge stained blue. Some wear to the jacket, which has been reinforced on the verso in thick orange paper. A very good copy.
Tortilla Flat, Steinbeck's third novel was his first financially successful book. With Covici Friede's publication of this book, Steinbeck and Pascal Covici began a long and mutually successful relationship. After the demise of the publishing house of Covici Friede, Steinbeck followed Pascal Covici to Viking. Though not so blatant a work of social criticism as Steinbeck's later books, it was probably the genial manner in which he depicted the down-and-out characters of Tortilla Flat which helped expand his readership. A contemporary reviewer noted that something about Steinbeck's "carefree, wine-bibbing, lazy paisanos, comfortable and happy in their ramshackle house in Monterey, has caught the fancy of the public and people are going around asking their friends if they've read Tortilla Flat yet" (McElrath, et al.).
Goldstone & Payne A4b. McElrath, et al., John Steinbeck: The Contemporary Reviews, 43.
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