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Steinbeck's 'Wrath' gets $48K at auction

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- A rare edition of John Steinbeck's epic "The Grapes of Wrath" sold in California for what may be a record for a Steinbeck novel available at auction.

Experts said they were surprised at the nearly $48,000 paid for the first edition from the collection of Steinbeck's late sister at a joint auction in Los Angeles and San Francisco, The Los Angeles Times said Monday.

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They said the final bid may reflect both the Nobel laureate's increasing popularity as well as the increasing prices for rare copies of 20th century American literature.

The Steinbeck family sold the books to finance renovation of a Pacific Grove, Calif., bungalow where Steinbeck wrote and where his sister later lived, said Catherine Williamson, director of fine books and manuscripts for Bonhams & Butterfields, which handled the sale.

The collection sold for more than $200,000 to a number of buyers.

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