Collected Stories of Wallace Stegner

Wallace Earle Stegner, Author
Wallace Earle Stegner, Author Random House (NY) $21.95 (525p) ISBN 978-0-394-58409-6
Reviewed on: 03/01/1990
Release date: 03/01/1990
These 31 classic stories record much of the cultural climate of 20th-century America, its West in particular, constituting, as the NBA and Pulitzer Prize-winning author affectionately notes, not an autobiography, but ``a sort of personal record.'' As combined here, the tales are a window onto a vivid American past that is as focused as a Norman Rockwell painting, although far more astringent and hardly as wholesome. Settings range from Stegner's native Canada to Utah, California and Vermont--all memorable places in the author's life. The stories are not arranged chronologically: Stegner's dark, voyeuristic peek into the lives of women awaiting letters from men serving in WW II gives way to an account of a bloodthirsty boyhood on the hot, flat frontier of a Saskatchewan farm. Best of all is the slicing wit of ``Field Guide to the Western Birds,'' in which a curmudgeon acidly comments on the petulant antics of a would-be virtuoso. Several of the stories have been reshaped and interpolated into such novels as Wolf Willow and The Big Rock Candy Mountain. (Mar.)
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X