I agree Steinbeck wrote very well and should be included, but it's not just the omission of certain writers that bothers me. It's also some of the books they chose. For example, I thought This Side of Paradise was much better written than The Great Gatsby and I preferred Puddinghead Wilson to Huckleberry Finn.What isn't clear is the criteria they are using for determining the 'best' American novel.
I must be getting shy. I keep putting myself in as anonymous.
Steinbeck is probably having the last laugh from the grave, ie people reading and enjoying his wonderful books.