RESERVED - The Winter of Our Discontent - John Steinbeck 1961 - The Viking Press, New York - First Edition A near fine copy of Steinbeck’s last novel, in the dust jacket designed by Elmer Hader, who also provided the artwork for the jacket of The Grapes of Wrath.

Ethan Allen Hawley, Harvard educated former member of Long Island aristocratic elite, has lost the acquisitive spirit of his wealthy and enterprising forebears, a long line of proud New England sea captains and Pilgrims. Scarred by failure, Ethan works as a grocery clerk in a store his family once owned....

‘Steinbeck's searing examination of the evil influences of money, immorality, greed and ambition on America drew acclaim from the Nobel Committee who hailed him as an 'independent expounder of the truth'’

‘In awarding John Steinbeck the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature, the Nobel committee stated “In this brief presentation it is not possible to dwell at any length on individual works which Steinbeck later produced. If at times the critics have seemed to note certain signs of flagging powers, of repetitions that might point to a decrease in vitality, Steinbeck belied their fears most emphatically with
The Winter of Our Discontent, a novel published last year. Here he attained the same standard which he set in The Grapes of Wrath. Again he holds his position as an independent expounder of the truth with an unbiased instinct for what is genuinely American, be it good or bad.’
  ‘In various letters to friends before and after its publication, Steinbeck clearly stated that he wrote the novel to address the moral degeneration of American culture in the 1950s and 1960s. American criticism of his moralism started to change in the 1970s following the Watergate scandal; here is how Reloy Garcia describes his reassessment of the work when asked to update his original Study Guide to Winter: "The book I then so impetuously criticized as somewhat thin, now strikes me as a deeply penetrating study of the American condition. I did not realize, at the time, that we had a condition," and he attributes this change of heart to "our own enriched experience". [Garcia - A Study Guide to Steinbeck]

At a conference celebrating the 100th anniversary of Steinbeck's birth, Stephen K. George declared: "With these authors [Bellow, Weeks, and Gannett] I would contend that, given its multi-layered complexity, intriguing artistry, and clear moral purpose,
The Winter of Our Discontent ranks in the upper echelon of Steinbeck’s fiction, alongside Of Mice and Men, Cannery Row, East of Eden, and, of course, The Grapes of Wrath”. ’ [George - The Contemporary Nature of Steinbeck's Winter]

Reference: Goldstone & Payne A38b, Morrow 252. Published at the same time (April 1961) was a limited edition of 500 copies with an extra acetate jacket wrapped around the dust jacket on which the words ‘Limited Edition’ and bound in different coloured cloth.

Octavo (book size 21.6 x 14.5 cm) pp. [8] 311 [1]. In publisher’s bright blue cloth, spine lettered in gilt with title on black background, front board with publisher’s logo in blind, top edge tinted blue (faded here). Dust jacket priced $4.50 to upper corner of front flap.
  Condition: Near fine, little sunning along top edge, top edge stained faded, in near fine dust jacket, minor rubbing along top edge and spine ends, toning to folds, three small marks along upper part rear panel.   Ref: 109245   Price: HK$ 3,500