Steinbeck’s tender letter to son sells for more than $32,000

Oct 13, 2022, 12:20 PM | Updated: 12:59 pm
FILE — Nobel prize-winning author John Steinbeck, right, admires a prize-winning poster by his so...

FILE — Nobel prize-winning author John Steinbeck, right, admires a prize-winning poster by his son, Thomas Steinbeck, in Hartford, Conn., March 22, 1963. A tender and touching letter that author John Steinbeck penned to his teenage son, offering fatherly advice after the young man confided that he was in love for the first time, is going up for auction. "If you are in love — that's a good thing — that's about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don't let anyone make it small or light to you," the Nobel literature laureate told his son, Thomas, in 1958. (AP Photo, File)

(AP Photo, File)

BOSTON (AP) — A heartfelt letter written by author John Steinbeck offering paternal advice to his teenage son who was experiencing love for the first time has sold at auction for more than $32,000.

The two-page, handwritten letter, dated Nov. 10, 1958, went for $32,426 to a collector who wishes to remain anonymous, Boston-based auction house RR Auction said Thursday.

The letter is remarkable because the Nobel Literature Prize laureate author doesn’t simply brush off his then 14-year-old son Thomas’ feelings as childish puppy love.

“If you are in love — that’s a good thing — that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you,” Steinbeck wrote.

He urged his son to embrace the experience, but he warned of letdowns.

“The object of love is the best, and most beautiful. Try to live up to it,” he wrote. “If you love someone — there is no possible harm in saying so — only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.”

“Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also,” he said. “It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another — but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.”

“If it is right, it happens — The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.”

It is signed: “Love, Father.”

Steinbeck, who won a Pulitzer Prize for “The Grapes of Wrath” in 1940 and the Nobel Prize in 1962 for a body of acclaimed work, died in 1968. Thomas Steinbeck died in 2016.

The text of the letter has been published for worldwide audiences, including in 1989’s “Steinbeck: A Life in Letters,” by Penguin Books.

Other items sold in the Fine Autograph and Artifacts auction included Edgar Allan Poe’s letter soliciting a donation for the Southern Literary Messenger for almost $150,000; Benjamin Franklin’s letter deciding the fate of the mutinous crew of John Paul Jones’ flagship for $62,500; Emily Dickinson’s poem soliciting a shopkeeper’s smile for almost $62,000; and a Benedict Arnold signed document certifying an oath of allegiance for a fellow officer sold for more than $31,000.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Medical workers in protective overalls walk past a line outside the fever clinic of a hospital in B...
Associated Press

China struggles with COVID infections after controls ease

BEIJING (AP) — A rash of COVID-19 cases in schools and businesses were reported by social media users Friday in areas across China after the ruling Communist Party loosened anti-virus rules as it tries to reverse a deepening economic slump. Official data showed a fall in new cases, but those no longer cover big parts […]
2 hours ago
FILE - Ukraine Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko walks outside of the International Monetary Fund (...
Associated Press

Helping Ukraine is ‘self-preservation,’ finance chief says

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Ukraine’s finance minister says crucial Western financial support is “not charity” but “self-preservation” in the fight to defend democracy as his country deals with growing costs to repair electrical and heating infrastructure wrecked by Russian attacks. Serhiy Marchenko also told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday from Kyiv that he […]
2 hours ago
People walk by monitors showing an exchange rate of the Japanese yen against the U.S. dollar at a s...
Associated Press

Asian shares advance on back of Wall Street gains

BANGKOK (AP) — Shares rose in Asia on Friday after an advance on Wall Street led by the latest rally in technology companies. Chinese benchmarks rose on reports the government is planning new measures to support the ailing property sector, which has dragged on growth over the past several years. The relaxation of some of […]
2 hours ago
A general view of pupils during lunch hour at Hillstone Primary School, in Birmingham, England, Wed...
Associated Press

UK cost-of-living woes stir push for more free school meals

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — As the school bell rings, dozens of children begin filing into the canteen at Hillstone Primary School. The day’s offering, a roast dinner, is a popular one, and many are eager to tuck into their plates of turkey slices, roasted potatoes, broccoli and gravy. For some children in this area of […]
2 hours ago
Cargo trucks move into a port in Busan, South Korea, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. Thousands of South Korea...
Associated Press

South Korean truckers end 16-day strike over freight rates

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Thousands of South Korean truckers are returning to work after voting Friday to end their 16-day walkout that disrupted construction and other domestic industries. Thousands of truckers seeking financial protections as fuel prices rise went on strike Nov. 24. The government took aggressive steps to minimize interruptions such as by […]
2 hours ago
FILE - Space flight participant Yusaku Maezawa attends a news conference ahead of the expedition to...
Associated Press

K-pop star among 8 to join Japan tycoon Maezawa’s moon trip

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa said Friday that K-Pop star T.O.P. will be among the eight people who will join him on a flyby around the moon on a SpaceX spaceship next year. The Japanese tycoon launched plans for the lunar voyage in 2018, buying all the seats on the spaceship. He began […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Steinbeck’s tender letter to son sells for more than $32,000