Wallace Stegner

Franklin Library Wallace Stegner books

The Spectator Bird -  limited first edition (not signed) - 1976
Angle of Repose - Pulitzer Prize Classics - 1978
The Big Rock Candy Mountain - signed limited edition - 1978
Recapitulation - limited first edition (not signed) 1979
Crossing to safety - signed first edition - 1987


Wallace Stegner biography

Wallace Stegner, born on February 18, 1909, in Lake Mills, Iowa, was an influential American novelist, essayist, and environmentalist known for his lyrical prose, keen insight into the American West, and advocacy for conservation and environmental stewardship. Stegner's early life was marked by a deep connection to the land and a love for the natural world. Raised in the rugged landscapes of the American West, he developed a profound appreciation for the region's beauty and complexity, which would later serve as inspiration for much of his writing. After studying at the University of Utah and the University of Iowa, Stegner embarked on a distinguished academic career, teaching creative writing and literature at various institutions, including Stanford University, where he founded the renowned Stanford Creative Writing Program.

Stegner's literary career began in the 1930s with the publication of his first novel, Remembering Laughter (1937), followed by several other novels that explored themes of love, family, and the human condition. However, it was his exploration of the American West that would come to define his most celebrated works. In 1943, Stegner published The Big Rock Candy Mountain, a sprawling epic that chronicled the lives of the Mason family as they journeyed across the American West in search of prosperity and fulfillment. The novel, inspired by Stegner's own experiences growing up in the West, received widespread acclaim for its vivid depiction of the region's landscapes and its poignant portrayal of the complexities of family relationships. Stegner's most famous work, Angle of Repose (1971), won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and solidified his reputation as one of America's preeminent novelists. The novel, which intertwines the story of a retired historian with the letters of his pioneering ancestors, offers a sweeping meditation on history, memory, and the enduring power of the land.

In addition to his novels, Stegner was also a prolific essayist and nonfiction writer, penning numerous works that explored themes of conservation, environmentalism, and the importance of preserving the natural world for future generations. His advocacy for environmental stewardship and his role in shaping public perception of the American West as a region of unparalleled beauty and significance earned him the admiration of readers and fellow writers alike.

Throughout his life, Wallace Stegner remained deeply committed to the landscapes and communities of the American West, using his writing to capture the essence of the region and to advocate for its preservation. His legacy as a writer and environmentalist endures, inspiring readers to appreciate the beauty of the natural world and to recognize the importance of protecting it for generations to come. Stegner passed away on April 13, 1993, but his influence continues to resonate in the literature of the American West and the ongoing conversation about environmental conservation.


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