John Steinbeck



John Steinbeck’s dedication to his editor, Pascal Covici, in East of Eden

While writing East of Eden, Steinbeck warmed up by writing a letter to his friend and editor in his notebook. These letters are collected in Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters. You can read the last letter in the batch over at Letters of Note.

As for the dedication, here’s some info from (of all places, I know):

[Steinbeck] often mentioned the things he was tinkering with or building around the house. At one point, Pat asked Steinbeck to make him a box; Steinbeck joked that the only specification was that Pat shouldn’t be able to fit inside it.

When Steinbeck finished East of Eden, he placed his 250,000 word manuscript into a mahogany box he had carved and sent it to Pat. The note he placed on top became the dedication page of the novel.

There’s a book about the friendship called Steinbeck and Covici.