Author John Steinbeck is revealed to have been a “sadistic man” and serial womanizer in the newly unearthed memoir of his second wife Gwyn Conger Steinbeck.
“Like so many writers, he had several lives, and in each he was spoilt, and in each he felt he was king,” Conger Steinbeck wrote in her memoir, reported on by The Guardian, which spans the years 1943 to 1948. “From the time John awoke to the time he went to bed, I had to be his slave.” The two met when Steinbeck was still married to his first wife (classy!) and during their wedding night he spent over an hour talking to his alleged mistress on the phone, who apparently would meet with him three times a week.
And he didn’t just treat Conger Steinbeck horribly, he did so to their children as well. When she experienced complications during a pregnancy, he cried that she had “complicated” his writing life, and after their son John Jr. was born prematurely Conger Steinbeck alleges that her husband said “I wish to Christ he’d die, he’s taking up too much of your fucking time.”
The reason this is all coming to light now is that even though the memoir first began in the 1970s, when ghostwriter Douglas Brown interviewed Conger Steinbeck, Brown passed away in the 1990s. After the manuscript was passed along to Brown’s brother, a neighbor named Bruce Lawton found it and is now publishing it. So in case you needed to add one more famous man to your abusive loser pile, here’s a good one to throw on.