The Grapes of Wrath Multimedia Resources

John Steinbeck Reads from The Grapes of Wrath

"We are Holding Our Own"

On June 16, 1954 John Steinbeck recorded a reading from The Grapes of Wrath for the United Nations Radio Division. This passage, which Steinbeck called "we are holding our own," is from chapter 8 of The Grapes of Wrath and describes the moment that Tom Joad, returning to the family after his early parole from prison, sees Ma for the first time. True to his style, Steinbeck begins with a physical description of Ma, and moves in slowly, painting an image of Ma as the "citadel of the family."


Inspired by Steinbeck

The Grapes of Wrath and Tortilla Flat are inspirations behind composer Franklin D. Ashdown's Steinbeck Suite for Organ. Visit Steinbeck Now to listen to recordings of the world premier of Ashdown's suite played by renowned concert organist James Welch.