Hard Cover. New York: The Viking Press, 1952. First Edition. Very Good / Dust Jacket Included.
First edition, first printing. Signed and inscribed by Steinbeck in blue ink to front free endpaper: "For -- / with many thanks / for two fine bits / of thorn / John Steinbeck / New York 1953". Publisher's green cloth lettered in dark green to front board and stamped in red and black to spine; in the original pictorial dust jacket. About very good, variously soiled and with some wear and toning to extremities, text block edges toned and with faint scattered stains, small dampstain to the gutter at title page, professional repairs to backstrip; dust jacket about very good, price-clipped and with some wear and large chips to extremities, significant paper repairs and reinforcements, most noticeably to the front fold, bottom edge of front panel, and spine ends. Overall, a presentable copy, inscribed by the author in the year following the book's publication. East of Eden features the intertwining stories of the Hamilton and Trask families. The former is based on Steinbeck's own genealogical lineage, while the latter is a representation of the Biblical Adam and his descendants. Considered by the author to be his masterpiece work, East of Eden is a culmination of the major themes and strengths of Steinbeck's other novels: an affinity for nature, the pervasive struggle between good and evil, familial relationships, and American history. During the writing process, Steinbeck chronicled the development of this novel with letters to his friend and former publisher Pascal Covici, the contents of which were published a year after Steinbeck's death as Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters. A lengthy yet popular tale originally intended by the author to teach his sons about the Salinas Valley in California, East of Eden has been adapted into a film, a musical, and a television miniseries.