Of Mice and Men represents an experiment in form, which Steinbeck described as “a kind of playable novel, written in novel form but so scened and set that it can be played as it stands.” A rarity in American letters, it achieved remarkable success as a novel, a Broadway play, and several acclaimed films. Of Mice and Men received the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play in 1937–1938. Since then, its iconic roles have attracted celebrated actors of both stage and screen, including Burgess Meredith, James Earl Jones, John Malkovich, and Gary Sinise. This classic story of an unlikely pair—George and Lennie, two migrant workers in Depression-era California grasping for their American Dream—continues to be read and revived in performance more than seventy-five years later, attesting to its abiding capacity to profoundly connect with readers, actors, and audiences alike.
“Brutality and tenderness mingle in these strangely moving pages. . . . The reader is fascinated by a certainty of approaching doom.”—Chicago Tribune
”A short tale of much power and beauty. Mr. Steinbeck has contributed a small masterpiece to the modern tough-tender school of American fiction.”—Times Literary Supplement [London]