Inland from Big Sur is the Salinas Valley - Steinbeck Country. We have made several
references to The Nobel prize-winning author who made the school curriculum bearable for
many British children, bored stiff with Dickens, here was an author from the modern era who
could transport you in an instant from a gloomy wet winter afternoon in the classroom to the
arid, sun-baked, landscape of "the Long Valley" based on the Salinas birthplace of John Steinbeck.
In 1998, the National Steinbeck Center opened in Salinas, the Nobel Laureate's birthplace.
It's a grand place for the uninitiated to become acquainted with the historical and cultural
relevance of his work. For fans of the great novelist, it's a fine place to revel in his work.
He once lamented his hometown wouldn't take him back unless he was in a pine box. Imagine how
surprised he would be today to see how Salinas has so exultantly embraced him.