The family of Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, Of Mice and Men) and the Center for Steinbeck Studies will give this year’s John Steinbeck “In the Souls of the People” Award to documentary filmmaker and political gadfly Michael Moore (Fahrenheit 9/11, Bowling for Columbine).
Past recipients include Arthur Miller, Bruce Springsteen, John Sayles, Garrison Keillor, Joan Baez and Sean Penn.
Thomas Steinbeck, who will present the award to Moore next month at a public ceremony at San Jose State University, stated:
Michael Moore is a courageous man and a great selection for the John Steinbeck Award. My father would have loved him; my father was the Michael Moore of his time.
I am truly grateful to the Steinbeck family and the Steinbeck Center for their generous acknowledgment of my work. The works of John Steinbeck have been a singular and powerful inspiration to me all of my life. Steinbeck believed that a story could change the world. He spent his life telling the stories of the powerless and the exploited. Through him, they had a voice. Today we are sadly, once again, witnesses to another Grapes of Wrath.