Wallace Stegner: Angle of Repose

(658 words)
  • Martin Kich (Wright State University )

In his long and distinguished career, Wallace Stegner wrote novels, histories and several books that bridged the two genres. In this multi-layered, exquisitely structured novel, he presents us with a historian’s attempt to come to terms with the truths of his own experience by reconstructing the pioneer experiences of his grandparents, who later raised him.

The historian, Lyman Ward, is the main character and primary narrator. Crippled by a degenerative arthritic condition that is calcifying his joints and has already caused the amputation of one of his legs, Lyman has become estranged from his wife, Ellen. He is assisted by a secretary, Shelley Rasmussen, and physically cared for by Ada Hawkes, a nurse and Shelley’s …

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Kich, Martin. "Angle of Repose". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 January 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=6670, accessed 25 September 2016.]