- Wallace Stegner
Wallace Earle Stegner (
February 18, 1909— April 13, 1993) was an American historian, novelist, short storywriter, and environmentalist, often called "The Dean of Western Writers." [cite web|url=http://www.montana.edu/cpa/news/nwview.php?article=4110|title=New Stegner professor to hit the ground running|author=Evelyn Boswell|publisher=Montana State University News Service|date=2006-10-05|accessdate=2007-09-09]
He was born in
Lake Mills, Iowaand grew up in Great Falls, Montana, Salt Lake City, Utahand southern Saskatchewan, which he wrote about in his autobiography "Wolf Willow". Stegner says he "lived in twenty places in eight states and Canada". [Stegner, Wallace, "Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs" " Random House", 1992, back cover.] While living in Utah, he joined a Boy Scout troop at a Mormonchurch (though he was not Mormon but Presbyterian himself) and earned the Eagle Scout award. He received his B.A. at the University of Utahin 1930.
He taught at the University of Wisconsin and
Harvard University, and then he settled in at Stanford University, where he founded the creative writing program. His students included Sandra Day O'Connor, Edward Abbey, Wendell Berry, Simin Daneshvar, George V. Higgins(who disliked Stegner intensely and felt him to be a poor teacher), Thomas McGuane, Ken Kesey, Gordon Lish, Ernest Gaines, and Larry McMurtry. He served as a special assistant to Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall. He was elected to the Sierra Clubboard of directors for a term that lasted 1964—1966. He also moved into a house in nearby Los Altos Hills and became one of the town's most prominent residents.
Stegner's novel "
Angle of Repose" won the Pulitzer Prize for Fictionin 1972, and was directly based on the letters of Mary Hallock Foote(later published as the memoir " A Victorian Gentlewoman in the Far West"). Stegner's use of uncredited passages taken directly from Foote's letters caused a continuing controversy. [ Mary Ellen Williams Walsh, 'Angle of Repose and the Writings of Mary Hallock Foote: A Source Study,' in "Critical Essays on Wallace Stegner", edited by Anthony Arthur, G. K. Hall & Co., 1982, pp. 184-209.] [ Philip L. Fradkin, "A Classic, or A Fraud? Plagiarism allegations aimed at Stegner's "Angle of Repose" won't be put to rest," Los Angeles Times, 3 February 2008, sec. M, p. 8] Stegner also won the National Book Awardfor " The Spectator Bird" in 1977. In the late 1980s, he refused a National Medal from the National Endowment for the Artsin 1992 because he believed the NEA had become too politicized.
His non-fiction works include "Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West" (1954), a biography of
John Wesley Powell, the first man to explore the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon and his subsequent career as a government scientist and advocate of water conservation in the American West.
A substantial number of his works are set in and around
Greensboro, Vermont, where he lived part-time. Some of his character representations (particularly in Second Growth) were sufficiently unflattering that residents took offense, and he did not visit Greensboro for several years after that.
He died in
Santa Fe, New Mexico, while visiting the city to give a lecture. His death on 13 April 1993 was the result of injuries suffered in an automobile accident on March 28, 1993. [Honan, William H., "Wallace Stegner Is Dead At 84; Pulitzer-Prize Winning Author." " New York Times", 15 April 1993, sec. B, p. 8.] He is the father of naturewriter Page Stegner.
* "Remembering Laughter" (1937)
* "The Potter's House" (1938)
* "On a Darkling Plain" (1940)
* "Fire and Ice" (1941)
* "The Big Rock Candy Mountain" (autobiographical) (1943)
* "Second Growth" (1947)
* "The Preacher And the Slave" aka "Joe Hill: A Biographical Novel" (1950)
* "A Shooting Star" (1961)
* "All the Little Live Things" (1967)
Angle of Repose" (1971) - Pulitzer Prize
The Spectator Bird" (1976) - National Book Awardwinner
* "Recapitulation" (1979)
* "Crossing to Safety" (1987)
* "The Women On the Wall" (1950)
* "The City of the Living: And Other Stories" (1957)
* "Writer's Art: A Collection of Short Stories" (1972)
* "Collected Stories of Wallace Stegner" (1990)
* "Late Harvest: Rural American Writing" (1996) (with Bobbie Ann Mason)
* "Genesis: A Story from Wolf Willow" (1994)
* "Mormon Country" (1942)
* "One Nation" (1945)
* "Beyond the Hundredth Meridian:
John Wesley Powelland the Second Opening of the West" (1954)
* "Wolf Willow: A History, a Story, and a Memory of the Last Plains Frontier" (
* "The Gathering of Zion: The Story of the Mormon Trail" (1964)
* "Teaching the Short Story" (1966)
* "The Sound of Mountain Water" (1969)
Discovery! The Search for Arabian Oil" (1971)
* "Writer in America" (1982)
* "Conversations With Wallace Stegner on Western History and Literature" (1983)
* "This Is Dinosaur: Echo Park Country And Its Magic Rivers" (1985)
* "American Places" (1985)
* "On the Teaching of Creative Writing" (1988)
* "The Uneasy Chair: A Biography of Bernard Devoto" (1989)
* "Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs, 'Living and writing in the west"', (autobiographical) (1992)
Further reading about Stegner
* 1982 "Critical Essays on Wallace Stegner", edited by
Anthony Arthur, G. K. Hall & Co.
* 1983 "Conversations with Wallace Stegner on Western History and Literature," Wallace Stegner and
Richard Etulain, University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City
* 1984 "Wallace Stegner: His Life and Work" by
Jackson J. Benson
* 2008 "Wallace Stegner and the American West" by
Philip L. Fradkin
Little, Brown Prizefor "Remembering Laughter"
Commonwealth Gold Medalfor "All the Little Live Things"
Pulitzer Prize for Fictionfor "Angle of Repose"
National Book Awardfor "The Spectator Bird"
Los Angeles Times Kirsch awardfor lifetime achievement
P.E.N. Center USA West awardfor his body of work
California Arts Council awardfor his body of work
National Endowment for the Arts(refused)Plus: Three O. Henry Awards, twice a Guggenheim Fellow, Senior Fellow of the National Institute of Humanities, member of National Institute and Academy of Arts and Letters, member National Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Timeline of environmental events
* Topping, Gary. "Utah Historians and the Reconstruction of Western History." 2003, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, Oklahoma. ISBN 0-8061-3561-1
* [http://www.cateweb.org/CA_Authors/Stegner.html Essay on Stegner]
* [http://sfpl.lib.ca.us/librarylocations/main/envir/envir.htm The Wallace Stegner Environmental Center website]
* [http://www.stegnerhouse.ca/ Wallace Stegner House]
* [http://www.wilderness.org/OurIssues/Wilderness/wildernessletter.cfm Stegner's famed "Wilderness Letter"]
* [http://www.ochcom.org/foote Artist-Author Mary Hallock Foote and her Angle of Repose]
* [http://www.law.utah.edu/stegner/ Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources and the Environment at the S.J. Quinney College of Law - University of Utah]
* [http://www.montana.edu/stegner/Stegner/bib.html Books by Wallace Stegner: An Annotated Bibliography]
* [http://www.stanfordalumni.org/news/magazine/2007/janfeb/features/vitalis.html Story of Stegner's Aramco book]
* [http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Crossing-to-Safety/Wallace-Stegner/e/9780375759314 Barnes & Noble] - Overview & editorial reviews for "Crossing to Safety"
* [http://sfpl.lib.ca.us/librarylocations/main/envir/wsbio.htm Wallace Stegner Biography - SFPL] .
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