Tortilla Flats Anniversary

Eighty years ago today John Steinbeck’s Tortilla Flats was published.

778959Adopting the structure and themes of the Arthurian legend, Steinbeck created a “Camelot” on a shabby hillside above the town of Monterey,California and peopled it with a colorful band of knights. At the center of the tale is Danny, whose house, like Arthur’s castle, becomes a gathering place for men looking for adventure, camaraderie, and a sense of belonging. These “knights” are paisanos, men of mixed heritage, whose ancestors settled California hundreds of years before. Free of ties to jobs and other complications of the American way of life, they fiercely resist the corrupting tide of honest toil in the surrounding ocean of civil rectitude.

Sounds interesting. I’ve put it on my to read list. My husband doesn’t like Steinbeck because his writing is often depressing. I’d have to agree with that observation, but I can read most anything if it’s good writing. I’ll let you know once I read this one.

Celebrate Banned Banned Books Week

I would be remiss if I did not mention that it is officially Banned Books Week.

Where would we be if we were not able to read the things we want to read – or a minimal learn about – or write the things we want to write – or at minimal not be afraid to put down on paper? Of course, we don’t have to agree with what everyone puts out there, but how bored, how backward, how diminished we would all be if people couldn’t share their thoughts.

Here is a link to a small piece the incomparable Bill Moyers did on the subject. (Here)

Here is a short list of some books that have been banned or challenged at one time or another. Can you imagine not being able to read these titles?

I can’t.

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
3. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
4. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
5. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
6. Ulysses, by James Joyce
7. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
8. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
9. 1984, by George Orwell
11. Lolita, by Vladmir Nabokov
12. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
15. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
16. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
17. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
18. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
19. As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
20. A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway

(compliments of ala.org)