Doesn't look like anyone's in the market for some original John Steinbeck writing. According to the AP, many of the author's letters and manuscripts from his New York City apartment have either failed to sell, or have sold for less than expected. All in all, Bloomsbury Auctions say the lot brought in just under $74,000, when it was expected to bring in as much as $250,000—more than half of the lot didn't sell, including his acceptance speech for the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Steinbeck lived with his third wife at an East 72nd Street apartment until his death in 1968. He had first come to the city after dropping out of Stanford University around 1925, holding odd jobs and pursuing his dream of becoming a writer. When his work didn't get published by 1928, he went back to California for a while... but eventually was drawn back to New York City.