The Selected Letters of Wallace Stegner

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9781582434469: The Selected Letters of Wallace Stegner

Wallace Stegner, winner of the 1972 Pulitzer Prize, was the author of 13 novels and five collections of short stories, as well as the founder of Stanford University's creative writing program. This collection of a lifetime of Stegner’s letters provides a long-awaited look into the life and mind of one of our most important writers. Edited by his son Page, Stegner’s expansive correspondence shows him not only as a lauded educator and author but also as a man who never stopped learning, never stopped questioning and pushing deeper into the foundation of who he was and where he was from.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Throughout his life, Wallace Stegner (1909–1993)—a novelist, historian and environmental activist—maintained an active correspondence with family members, writers, critics, editors, biographers and conservationists. His son, Page (Grand Canyon: The Great Abyss), has assembled a representative selection of letters and arranged them by theme: origins, reflections on his works, the literary life, his tenure at Stanford University (where he started the creative writing program in 1945) and his dedication to wilderness conservation. Whether responding to questions from his biographers, engaging in literary controversy, chiding a grandson about his faulty spelling and grammar or, in 1982, turning down a medal from the National Endowment for the Arts (which he felt was subject to too many political controls), Stegner is always attentive to the niceties of the writing craft, gracious and generous in his assessment of the achievements of others. The letters reveal much about his personal life and innermost thoughts, thus acting as a substitute for the autobiography he never wrote. Particularly illuminating are passages that give insight into the background of some of his books, including Angel of Repose, which won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1972, and The Uneasy Chair, his biography of historian and conservationist Bernard De Voto. (Nov.)
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Review:

"[F]rames the portrait of an engaged man, a man with a sense of humor, thoughtful and extremely vulnerable."

"[A] collection of letters that are thoughtful, interesting, and peppered with delightful imagery that only a true writer would craft for his audience of one."

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