East of Eden
John Steinbeck considered East of Eden to be his ultimate masterpiece. He wrote the novel for his sons so they would better understand their family history and Steinbeck's childhood experiences growing up in California's fertile Salinas Valley. He also sought to create a mythic dramatization of the perpetual struggle between good and evil, which he considered the quintessential struggle that has characterized human existence since the beginning of time.
East of Eden was first published in September of 1952 by Viking Press. A film version on the novel, directed by Elia Kazan, debuted in 1955. A musical version of the novel appeared in 1966. East of Eden was released as an ABC miniseries in 1981.