Part 2 of 2 (Part 1 here)
Frank Norris (1870-1902) was best known for MacTeague, a rough, unvarnished view of American life, although The Octopus (1900) demands attention as well. While Steinbeck wrote a memoir/paean to life in Salinas, The Octopus deals with ranchers in the San Joaquin Valley.
Norris’s work, unlike Steinbeck’s careful imitation of Tolstoy, is exciting and more immediate than ever, concerned as it is with land and power. (more…)