An elaboration on John Steinbeck's greatest theme - the common bonds of humanity and love which make goodness and happiness possible - this "Penguin Modern Classics" edition of "Sweet Thursday" marks a return to the memorable cast of characters he created in Cannery Row. In Monterey, on the California Coast, "Sweet Thursday" is what they call the day after "Lousy Wednesday" - one of those days that's just bad from the start. But "Sweet Thursday" is sunny and clear, a day when anything can happen. Returning to the scene of "Cannery Row", Steinbeck brilliantly creates its bawdy, high-spirited world of bums, drunks and hookers, telling the story of what happened to everyone after the war. There are colourful characters old and new, all united by love, laughter and tears: Fauna, the latest madam at the Bear Flag brothel, Doc, still there for everyone else but feeling strangely sad himself, and Suzy, the new hustler in town who might just be the girl to save him. John Steinbeck (1902-68), winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for literature, is remembered as one of the greatest and best-loved American writers of the twentieth century. During the Second World War Steinbeck served as a war correspondent, with his collected dispatches published as "Once There Was a War" (1958); in 1945 he was awarded the Norwegian Cross of Freedom for his novel "The Moon is Down" (1942), a portrayal of Resistance efforts in northern Europe. His best-known works include the epics "The Grapes of Wrath" (1939) and "East of Eden" (1952), and his tragic novella "Of Mice and Men" (1937). John Steinbeck's complete works are published in "Penguin Modern Classics". If you enjoyed "Sweet Thursday", you might like Steinbeck's "The Wayward Bus", also available in "Penguin Classics". "The outstanding quality of Steinbeck's writing...is his feel for the lives, thoughts and aspirations of ordinary people". ("Spectator").