When John Steinbeck penned Tortilla Flat (1935), Cannery Row (1945) and Sweet Thursday (1954) he hardly thought the immortal classics would become huge hits on the eastern side of the Iron Curtain
Generations of East Europeans grew up with Doc, Mack, Dora Flood, Lee Chong and the boys, and though few if any could set foot in the real California they imagined Monterey and Salinas epitomised exactly the opposite of what their own drab lives held for them under Communism. Steinbeck got the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962 and died in 1969, but his books continued to be read across the former East bloc in general and Bulgaria in particular.
If he were alive in 2022 and visited the southern Bulgarian Black Sea coast he would have been at least bemused to discover... a monument to him in the middle of a former fishermen's settlement, right on the main street. And yes, it is appropriately named... Cannery Row.