Thomas Steinbeck biography

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Thomas Steinbeck
Author photo: Marion Ettlinger

Thomas Steinbeck

Thomas Steinbeck Biography

Thomas Steinbeck began his career in the 1960s as a combat photographer in Vietnam. Known best for his short stories, his collection Down to the Soundless Sea won critical praise. Along with his writing and producing obligations, Steinbeck was in demand as a public speaker for hislectures on American literature, creative writing, and the communication arts. He lived in California with his wife Gail until his death aged 72 in August 2016.

Thomas Steinbeck's website

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Interview

Thomas Steinbeck discusses his first collection of short stories and some of the themes from the stories such as redemption, the power of nature, the architecture of language, the inequities of society ... and a great deal more.

An aura of performance, as suggested by the author’s note, permeates Down to a Soundless Sea. As a devout raconteur, do you see these stories as attempts to translate the experience of storytelling? Does the act of fixing them on the page complicate or simplify the stories?
In my humble opinion, all storytelling, and in turn writing, by virtue of its human origin, entails profound elements of performance. Authors either perform on their own account, such as historians, journalists, and essayists; or, like novelists and playwrights, they fashion characters to perform specific roles at the author’s behest. One way or the other, the puppeteer remains the same. It is specifically because I’m a carrier of raconteur’s disease, in its most virulent form, that I have come to realize that one can never really cross-pollinate the act of live storytelling with its literary reflection. But I can think of any number of great authors who have come within a hairsbreadth of convincing me they could.

I’ve never known a story, whether true or false, to remain fixed to any page for long. If it has legs at all, it will self-propagate through numerous generations and variations, until not even the author ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Thomas Steinbeck at BookBrowse
In the Shadow of the Cypress jacket Down To A Soundless Sea jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Thomas Steinbeck but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Rick Bass

    Rick Bass

    Rick Bass was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1958. His father was a geologist who passed on his passion to his son.  Bass received a B.S. in petroleum geology at Utah State University in 1979, and then worked as a gas ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Down To A Soundless Sea

    Try:
    The Lives of Rocks
    by Rick Bass

  • Charlotte Gullick

    Charlotte Gullick

    Charlotte Gullick is a novelist, essayist, editor, educator, and Chair of the Creative Writing Department at Austin Community College. A first-generation college graduate, she received her AA with High Honors from Santa Rosa... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Down To A Soundless Sea

    Try:
    By Way of Water
    by Charlotte Gullick

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Editor's Choice

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Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Code Girls
by Liza Mundy

The riveting story of the USA's courageous and accomplished WWII female American code breakers.

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Readers Recommend

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    Dubus' first novel in a decade is a masterpiece of thrilling tension and heartrending empathy.
    Reader Reviews

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