Program News

Wallace Stegner and the American West

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The life and work of Workshop alumnus Wallace Stegner (MA, 1935, PhD, 1938) is the subject of a new biography, Wallace Stegner and the American West, by Philip Fradkin.

In a literary career that spanned over fifty years, Stegner wrote and published more than two dozen novels, historical works and story collections, including The Big Rock Candy Mountain, Crossing to Safety, and Angle of Repose, which won the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Stegner also founded Stanford's Creative Writing Program, where he taught until 1971. Edward Abbey, Wendell Berry, Ken Kesey, Larry McMurtry, and Robert Stone were among his students, but his influence extended well beyond the classroom. As Wendell Berry once wrote about Stegner, "He was perhaps his region's greatest teacher: its greatest storyteller, historian, critic, conservator and loyal citizen."

John Wilson recently reviewed Wallace Stegner and the American West for The New York Times Sunday Book Review; an excerpt from the book's first chapter accompanies the review.

For more information:
"That Stegner Fellow," by John Wilson, The New York Times, 5/18/2008
Excerpt of Wallace Stegner and the American West, by Philip Fradkin