The profession of book writing makes horse racing seem like a solid, stable business.

Accepting Nobel Prize, 1962
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More from John Steinbeck

I am impelled, not to squeak like a grateful and apologetic mouse, but to roar like a lion out of pride in my profession.

Accepting Nobel Prize, 1962

The Mojave is a big desert and a frightening one. It’s as though nature tested a man for endurance and constancy to prove whether he was good enough to get to California.

I hold that a writer who does not passionately believe in the perfectibility of man has no dedication nor any membership in literature.

Accepting Nobel Prize, 1962

Time is the only critic without ambition.

In utter loneliness a writer tries to explain the inexplicable.

In diary