Just like Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden was banned in Kern County, California because it was considered obscene due to his use of profanity; and a character, Cathy, becomes a prostitute. It was also controversial because residents felt it was “misrepresentative of the County,” causing copies to be burned at public gatherings.
Some of the other most notable cases of censorship include the following:
Opponents in Anniston, Alabama sought to remove it from school library bookshelves in 1982, also labeling it “ungodly and obscene”; it was later reinstated on a restricted basis. The schools in Greenville, South Carolina faced a similar challenge in 1991.
Canadian censors hopped on the bandwagon when residents of Morris, Manitoba had it banned from schools as well.
Steinbeck is the author of twenty-seven books, including sixteen novels, six non-fiction books, and five collections of short stories; he received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962; but an unfortunate part of his legacy is that the American Library Association lists him as one of the ten most frequently banned authors from 1990-2004.