Wallace Stegner and the American West

by Philip L. Fradkin

Paper Book, 2009




Berkeley : University of California Press, 2009.


Wallace Stegner was the premier chronicler of the twentieth-century western American experience, and his novels brought the life and landscapes of the West to national and international attention. Here, biographer Fradkin goes beyond Stegner's iconic literary status to give us, as well, the influential teacher and visionary conservationist, the man for whom the preservation and integrity of place was as important as his ability to render its qualities and character in his brilliantly crafted fiction and nonfiction. His writings on the importance of establishing national parks and wilderness areas--not only for the preservation of untouched landscape but also for the enrichment of the human spirit--played a key role in the passage of historic legislation and comprise some of the most beautiful words ever written about the natural world.--From publisher description.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member nemoman
Benson's biography of Stegner seemed lacking somehow. Fradkin's, however, hits a homerun. Fradkin wisely does not dwell too much on Stegner's childhood which already has been covered in detail by Stegner's autobiographical works of fiction. Instead, Fradkin focuses on Stegner's writing and teaching careers and how they were informed by Stegner's past. Fradkin notes that he did not want to write a hagiography; however, Stegner is one of those rare public figures with whom it is difficult to find fault.. The book reminds one of how many fine writers his Stanford program produced, or influenced: Ken Kesey, Edward Abbey, Ivan Doig, Harrriet Doerr, William Kittredge, Wendell Berry, and many more. The book also has the most complete explanation of the controvery surrounding [Angle Of Repose].… (more)
LibraryThing member michaelbartley
I learned a lot about Stegner , not only was he a excellent writer, he was also an excellent teacher. Many of the best post ww 2 writers were taught by him at Sanford. one the more interesting parts of the book was the conflict he had with both ken kessey and gary synder. in many ways it was the generation conflict of the 60s… (more)


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