This is a very good piece, Matt. That Steinbeck would apologize demonstrates the conscience of the man. We all make mistakes in our portrayals of characters we’ve met. During my days loading trucks, I could easily have romanticized the different nationalities I worked with, their good humor, their hard work. To me, that’s too contemplative. I have to tell the story that sticks in my mind, even if it may appear offensive to some. We can over-edit in the name of political correctness. That’s not our job. We’re here to show life in all it’s coarseness, whether it’s acceptable or not. We’ll always be judged. I respect Steinbeck for apologizing, but it doesn’t change the book itself. In the end, the story remains for what it is — a story told as well as it can be told. Steinbeck certainly did that.

I did a poor imitation of Don Draper for 40 years before writing my first novel. I'm currently in the final stages of a children's book. Lucky me.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store