When Ki, a poor Indian pearl-diver, finds 'the Pearl of the world' he believes that his life will be magically transformed. He will marry Juana and their son Coyotito will be able to attend school. Obsessed by his dreams, Ki is blind to the greed and even violence the pearl arouses in him and his neighbours. Written with lyrical simplicity, The Pearl sets the values of the civilized world against those of the primitive and finds them tragically inadequate.
John Steinbeck (1902-68) is remembered as one of the greatest and best-loved American writers of the twentieth century. During the 1930s, his works included The Red Pony, Pastures of Heaven, Tortilla Flat, In Dubious Battle, and Of Mice and Men. The Grapes of Wrath, published in 1939, earned him a Pulitzer Prize. In 1962, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.