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9780140169300

Angle of Repose (Contemporary American Fiction)

Stegner, Wallace Author

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9780140169300: Angle of Repose (Contemporary American Fiction)

Wallace Stegner's Pultizer Prize-winning novel is a story of discovery—personal, historical, and geographical. Confined to a wheelchair, retired historian Lyman Ward sets out to write his grandparents' remarkable story, chronicling their days spent carving civilization into the surface of America's western frontier. But his research reveals even more about his own life than he's willing to admit. What emerges is an enthralling portrait of four generations in the life of an American family.

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From the Inside Flap:

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize when it was first published in 1971, Angle of Repose has also been selected by the editorial board of the Modern Library as one of the hundred best novels of the twentieth century.
        
Wallace Stegner's uniquely American classic centers on Lyman Ward, a noted historian who relates a fictionalized biography of his pioneer grandparents at a time when he has become estranged from his own family. Through a combination of research, memory, and exaggeration, Ward voices ideas concerning the relationship between history and the present, art and life, parents and children, husbands and wives. Set in many parts of the West, Angle of Repose is a story of discovery--personal, historical, and geographical--that endures as Wallace Stegner's masterwork: an illumination of yesterday's reality that speaks to today's.

        "Angle of Repose is a long, intricate, deeply rewarding novel," wrote William Abrahams in the Atlantic Monthly. "[It] is neither the predictable historical-regional Western epic, nor the equally predictable four-decker family saga, the Forsytes in California, so to speak. . . . For all [its] breadth and sweep, Angle of Repose achieves an effect of intimacy, hence of immediacy, and, though much of the material is 'historical,' an effect of discovery also, of experience newly minted rather than a pageantlike re-creation. . . . Wallace Stegner has written a superb novel, with an amplitude of scale and richness of detail altogether uncommon in contemporary fiction."


"Angle of Repose is a novel about Time, as much as anything--about people who live through time, who believe in both a past and a future. . . . It reveals how even the most rebellious crusades of our time follow paths that our great-grandfathers' feet beat dusty."
        --Wallace Stegner

About the Author:

Wallace Stegner was born in 1909 in Lake Mills, Iowa. The son of Scandinavian immigrants, he traveled with his parents and brother all over the West-to North Dakota, Washington, Saskatchewan, Montana, and Wyoming-before settling in Salt Lake City in 1921. Many of the landscapes he encountered in his peripatetic youth figure largely in his work, as do characters based on his stern father and athletic, outgoing brother. Stegner received most of his education in Utah, graduating from the University in 1930. He furthered his education at the University of Iowa, where he received a master's and a doctoral degree. He married Mary Stuart Page in 1934, and for the next decade the couple followed Wallace's teaching career-to the University of Wisconsin, Harvard, and eventually to Stanford University, where he founded the creative writing program, and where he was to remain until his retirement in 1971. A number of his creative writing students have become some of today's most well respected writers, including Wendell Berry, Thomas McGuane, Raymond Carver, Edward Abbey, Robert Stone, and Larry McMurty.

Throughout his career and after, Stegner's literary output was tremendous. His first novel, Remembering Laughter, was published in 1937. By the time of his death in 1993 he had published some two dozen works of fiction, history, biography, and essays. Among his many literary prizes are the Pulitzer Prize for Angle of Repose (1971) and the National Book Award for The Spectator Bird (1976). His collection of essays, Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs (1992), was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle award.

Although his fiction deals with many universal themes, Stegner is primarily recognized as a writer of the American West. Much of his literature deals with debunking myths of the West as a romantic country of heroes on horseback, and his passion for the terrain and its inhabitants have earned him the title 'The Dean of Western Letters'. He was one of the few true Men of Letters in this generation. An historian, essayist, short story writer and novelist, as well as a leading environmental writer. Although always connected in people's minds with the West, he had a long association with New England. Many short stories and one of his most successful novels, Crossing to Safety, are set in Vermont, where he had a summer home for many years. Another novel, The Spectator Bird, takes place in Denmark.

An early environmentalist, he actively championed the region's preservation and was instrumental-with his now-famous 'Wilderness Letter'-in the passage of the 1964 Wilderness Act. Honest and straightforward, educated yet unpretentious, cantankerous yet compassionate, Wallace Stegner was an enormous presence in the American literary landscape, a man who wrote and lived with ferocity, energy, and integrity.

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Book Description Penguin Books, 1992. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Stegner's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel--the magnificent story of four generations in the life of an American family. A wheelchair-bound retired historian embarks on a monumental quest: to come to know his grandparents, now long dead. The unfolding drama of the story of the American West sets the tone for Stegner's masterpiece. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_014016930X

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Book Description Penguin (Non-Classics) May 1992, 1992. Paper Back. Book Condition: New. 'Now I believe they will leave me alone.' Increasingly isolated from his son and estranged from his wife, retired historian Lyman Ward - wheelchair-bound and suffering from a debilitating bone disease - retreats to his grandparent's home to write the biography of his grandmother, Susan Burling Ward. A Victorian-era artist, Susan charmed New York's elite, especially the highborn Augusta Drake Hudson, with whom she maintains correspondence throughout her life. When Susan accepts an offer of marriage from the bright and capable (though not-nearly-so-refined) Oliver Ward, they embark for California's frontier where Oliver is an engineer for the New Almaden mine. The biography may be Susan's, but this is a story of a marriage-of opposites making a life together, of a lady determined to carve out a civilized life for herself and her children, of a mechanically brilliant and inherently trusting man who can't catch a break as they move from Leadville to Mexico to Boise. The thread of their story is told alternately by Susan's letters (directly based on the letters of Mary Hallock Foote, a well-known illustrator) and the history her grandson reads between the lines of those letters. Likening the trajectory of his grandparent's life to the angle of repose - the angle at which soil finally settles after being dumped from a mine as tailings - Lyman inevitably must face (or ignore) the similarity of their story to his own as he struggles with his failings and the failings of those he loves. Bookseller Inventory # 86472

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