— John Steinbeck American writer 1902 - 1968
Context: You see this book is finished and it is a bad book and I must get rid of it. It can't be printed. It is bad because it isn't honest. Oh! the incidents all happened but — I'm not telling as much of the truth about them as I know. In satire you have to restrict the picture and I just can't do satire. I've written three books now that were dishonest because they were less than the best that I could do. One you never saw because I burned it the day I finished it. … My whole work drive has been aimed at making people understand each other and then I deliberately write this book, the aim of which is to cause hatred through partial understanding. My father would have called it a smart-alec book. It was full of tricks to make people ridiculous. If I can't do better I have slipped badly. And that I won't admit — yet.
Letter to Elizabeth Otis, expressing dissatisfaction with L'Affaire Lettuceburg — a satire he abandoned in favor of work on what became The Grapes of Wrath (c. mid-May 1938) as quoted in Conversations with John Steinbeck (1988) edited by Thomas Fensch, p. 38