An American author and winner of the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature, John Steinbeck based most of his novels on the American experience. His first popular success was Tortilla Flat (1935). Of Mice and Men (1937) depicts the lives of two itinerant farmworkers and the tragedy brought about by shattered dreams. The Grapes of Wrath (1939) won the 1940 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and brought the plight of dispossessed farmers to public attention. Following World War II he wrote increasingly about social outcasts, such as in Cannery Row. His most ambitious project, East of Eden (1952), paralleled the history of his mother's family.