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Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Prize Winning Fiction
Prize Winning Fiction

1972 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Winner

Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner

       
 

Publisher: Penguin

Length: 557 pages

About: Two stories past and present

Style: 1st & 3rd person

Where: US

When: 1870-80s & 1970

 

 

Publisher’s synopsis:

Is a story of discovery--personal, historical, and geographical. Confined to a wheelchair, retired historian Lyman Ward sets out to write his grandparents' remarkable story, chronicling their days spent carving civilization into the surface of America's western frontier. But his research reveals even more about his own life than he's willing to admit. What emerges is an enthralling portrait of four generations in the life of an American family.

 

Extract:

She guided her horse through willows and alders and runted birches, leaned and weaved until the brush ended and she broke into the open. She was at the edge of a meadow miles long, not a tree in it except for the wriggling line that marked the course of the Lake Fork. Stirrup-high grass flowed and flawed in the wind, and its motion revealed and hid and revealed again streaks and splashes of flowers-rust of paintbrush, blue of pentstemon, yellow of buttercups, scarlet of gilia, blue-tinged white of columbines. All around, rimming the valley, bare peaks patched with snow looked down from above the scalloped curve of timberline.

 

Reviews:

Good:

Reading this new novel by Wallace Stegner is like watching the swallows return to Capistrano. Summer warmth and pleasant holidays lie ahead. 'Angle of Repose' will make for perfect summer reading. It's a little too big for a rucksack, but it's worth shoehorning into any other kind of traveling bag. It's a long, relaxed and relaxing piece of work, not terribly demanding.  

New York Times, Thomas Lask, 24th March 1971

 

Not so good:

...If there is anything annoying about this novel, it is that the two stories are constantly interrupting one another... You might also have reservations of a more general sort; the book is so horribly old-fashioned.

Paul Barber, Star News, Pasadena California 2nd May 1971


About the author

(February 18, 1909 - April 13, 1993) He was born in Lake Mills, Iowa and grew up in Great Falls, Montana, Salt Lake City, Utah and southern Saskatchewan. Stegner's novel Angle of Repose won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 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 He died in Santa Fe, New Mexico, while visiting the city to give a lecture. His death was the result of injuries suffered in an automobile accident on March 28, 1993. He is the father of nature writer Page Stegner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

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Ratings

Adventure

 7

Filmability

 6

Historical

 7

Humorous

 5

Intellectuality

 5

Life-changing

 6

Page turner

 7

Readability

 7

Romance

 6

 

Age guide: 12

 

 

 

Novels by same author:

 

Adaptations:

Angle of Repose was adapted as an opera by Andrew Imbrie and Oakley Hall and produced by the San Francisco Opera Company in 1976.

 

© PWF.co.uk

 

2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner

It's a massive day in arts and journalism because the 100th annual Pulitzer Prize winners were just announced, and there's a big surprise. 2015's best artistic and nonfiction writing across 21 categories were recognized during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Columbia University in New York City. The first Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Hebert Bayward Swope, a reporter for The New York World, in 1916. (And if you're as big a fan of Newsies as I am, that paper should ring a bell, but try to think of it more positively.)

The major prize for book nerds, the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press), a legitimate surprise, if you've been paying attention to the book nerd and industry buzz. The feeling around the prize in the last few months would have you putting all your hard-earned cash down on A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara to take home the award, but that's why you should never gamble. Viet Thanh Nguyen is no less deserving, and moreover, it's his debut novel, which makes it such a wonderful win.

Extract from New York Times to view full article...

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