Dr. Nelson/ENG 150-042 at 8:00
11 November 2008
During a writing career that stretched over half a century, from his first novel, Remembering Laughter (1937), to his last book of essays, Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs (1992), and his death in 1993, Wallace Stegner produced 13 novels (one of which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1972), three volumes of short stories, three historical and biographical works, and seven collections of essays. Although Stegner is best known to most readers for his fiction, many critics believe that his reputation as an essayist will eventually be just as strong. (Teisch)
Having spent his high school and college years, as well as the first years of his teaching career, in Salt Lake City, Stegner was well equipped to write Mormon Country (1942). In 28 essays he writes about the culture and history of a religious group often misunderstood, deftly weaving the religious beliefs and practices, history, culture, and personalities of a distinctly American denomination into an engaging book (Mormon Country). A reading of these essays makes it clear that Stegner highly respected the strength and faith of these people even though he did not share their theology.
After viewing a few of Stegner’s novels and essay collections I was able to determine that he was a very insightful man. Having lived all over, from North Dakota to Washington State he had an opportunity to experience many things and meet many
different types of people. Although Stegner went to college at an early age he was able to find a way to get by, his writing. Being called “the dean of western writers” (H.W. Wilson Company), Stegner gave a new view to the western world. As seen in his essays on, as he called it “A History, A Story, and A Memory of the Last Plains Frontier” (Stegner, Wolf Willow). This interesting blend of 19 essays in which Stegner deals with his youthful years from 1914...