Entre souvenirs et réflexions sur la nature, Wallace Stegner, écrivain majeur de l'Ouest
américain, livre un témoignage sur un monde, aujourd'hui évanoui, qui a inspiré l'ensemble
de son oeuvre. C'est le monde de son enfance, celui des Prairies du Montana et du Dakota,
qui lui a appris à tendre l'oreille au bruit de l'eau des montagnes et à respecter la beauté
immaculée de ses paysages. Ces lettres engagées transmettent ainsi la mémoire des
hommes qui ont fait l'Amérique d'aujourd'hui, guidés par des valeurs héroïques comme la
grandeur d'âme ou la dignité.
Ross et Margaret roulent sans but précis dans les collines du Vermont que l'automne pare d'une beauté enveloppante. Grisés par cette journée parfaite, ils s'engagent sur un chemin peu passant, qui ne semble plus mener nulle part. Cette campagne ancienne paraît abandonnée de tous. Et pourtant, d'une vieille ferme surgissent une femme, puis sa fille, étrange créature qui entraîne Margaret vers un verger magnifique empli de pommes sauvages.
Suspendue au bras de son mari Alec, Margaret guette avec impatience l'arrivée du train de sa soeur Elspeth, venue d'Écosse pour vivre avec eux dans l'Iowa. Vive et malicieuse, s'émerveillant d'un rien, Elspeth respire la joie de vivre et ne tarde pas à illuminer leur vie de riches fermiers bien installés. Mais alors que l'automne s'annonce, un triangle amoureux se forme peu à peu entre Alec et les deux soeurs. Lorsque survient l'irréparable, celui-ci ne tarde pas à se transformer en piège dramatique. Il faudra alors sauver ce qui peut l'être.
Dans ce court roman demeuré inédit en France, Wallace Stegner révèle avec la virtuosité qu'on lui connaît les drames qui se jouent derrière les apparences d'une existence paisible.
Dakota, 1905. La jeune Elsa a fui les plaines du Minnesota pour venir
jusqu'ici dans l'espoir d'y fonder une famille. Bo Mason, lui, rêve de
fortune, d'aventures, de mouvement perpétuel et de conquêtes. Lorsqu'ils
tombent éperdument amoureux, ces désirs contradictoires semblent
accessoires. Au fur et à mesure des trente années qu'ils vont partager
naîtront deux garçons, se désintègreront les désirs, se bâtiront d'autres
réussites, pendant qu'un pays continuera de se construire et de charrier
des mythes. Entre bonheurs éphémères, affres de l'amour, temps de la
prohibition et conquête de la terre, Wallace Stegner, immense écrivain
de l'Ouest, livre ici l'histoire passionnante d'une famille qui résonne à
travers les époques et les cultures.
Deux couples d'enseignants à l'âge de la retraite, amis de longue date, passent leurs vacances dans une maison isolée en pleine forêt. Les uns étaient modestes, les autres mondains, mais l'amour de la littérature, le partage des bonheurs et des épreuves de l'existence ont forgé entre eux un lien aussi indissoluble que nécessaire. Au fil des retours sur le passé, Stegner évoque avec force et émotion le flot de la vie et la puissance du souvenir, tandis que s'invite la promesse de la mort.
En lieu sûr est le dernier roman de Wallace Stegner, figure incontournable de la littérature américaine, dont l'oeuvre maintes fois couronnée (Prix Pulitzer, National Book Award) continue d'influencer d'innombrables héritiers.
Ambassadeur à la retraite installé à San Francisco, Bruce Mason n'a plus grand chose en commun avec le garçon frêle et révolté parti quarante-cinq ans auparavant de Salt Lake City avec la ferme intention de tirer un trait définitif sur son histoire familiale mouvementée. Mais le voici de retour dans la ville de sa jeunesse pour organiser l'enterrement de sa tante. Au fil de ses déambulations dans les rues familières, ses souvenirs l'entraînent dans un voyage sinueux au coeur de son passé qui l'oblige à renouer avec celui qu'il a été.
Après La Montagne en sucre, vaste fresque d'inspiration autobiographique, Wallace Stegner redonne vie à son alter ego de papier, Bruce Mason, dans un roman profond et poétique jusqu'à présent inédit en français.
In Recapitulation, by National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Wallace Stegner, the protagonist of his classic novel Big Rock Candy Mountain returns reluctantly to the Salt Lake City of his birth for the funeral of an aunt--the last link to his family’s history, and his own.
Now in his sixties, even after a successful diplomatic career among other achievements that he knows derived from his early life in this place, Bruce Mason cannot help but reflect on the childhood misery caused by those same events. Intimate, reflective, even meditative, Recapitulation gives us what we are seldom offered, a chance to reconnect with a beloved character, to see who he became, and the opportunity to understand his earlier incarnation through his own eyes.
Blending fact with fiction in this masterful historical novel, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Wallace Stegner retells the story of Joe Hill--the Wobbly bard and labor activist who became the stuff of legend when, in 1915, he was executed for the alleged murder of a Salt Lake City businessman. Organizer, agitator, "Labor's Songster"--a rebel from the skin inwards, with an absolute faith in the One Big Union--Joe Hill fought tirelessly in the frequently violent battles between organized labor and industry. But though songs and stories still vaunt him, and his legend continues to inspire those who feel the injustices he fought against, Joe Hill may not have been a perfectly saintly crusader--and may have been motivated by impulses darker than the search for justice.
Joe Hill is a full-bodied portrait of both the man and the myth: from his entrance into the short-lived Industrial Workers of the World union, the most militant organization in the history of American labor, to his trial, imprisonment, and final martyrdom. His famous last words: "Don't waste time mourning. Organize."
A book of timeless importance about the American West by a National Book Award– and Pulitzer Prize–winning author. The essays collected in this volume encompass memoir, nature conservation, history, geography, and literature. Delving into the post-World War II boom that brought the Rocky Mountain West--from Montana and Idaho to Utah and Nevada--into the modern age, Stegner's essays explore the essence of the American soul.
Writtten over a period of thirty-five years by a writer and thinker who will always hold a unique position in modern American letters, The Sound of Mountain Water is a modern American classic.
Bernard DeVoto was a wild intellectual from the Rocky Mountains, a rebel, iconoclast, and idealist who fled his stifling small town for the intellectual freedom and community of Harvard. While he settled eastward in his career as a novelist, professor, editor, historian, and critic, he continued to love, to a point of passion, western openness, freedom, and society.
National Book Award– and Pulitzer Prize–winning author and fellow westerner Wallace Stegner's life intersected with Devoto's many times, first by accident and later by friendship and example. They were kindred spirits, both westerners by birth, upbringing, and demeanor, novelists by vocation, teachers by necessity, and historians and conservationists by a sheer compulsion inspired by the region that shaped them.
A novel of the friendships and woes of two couples, which tells the story of their lives in lyrical, evocative prose by one of the finest American writers of the late 20th century.
When two young couples meet for the first time during the Great Depression, they quickly find they have much in common: Charity Lang and Sally Morgan are both pregnant, while their husbands Sid and Larry both have jobs in the English department at the University of Wisconsin. Immediately a lifelong friendship is born, which becomes increasingly complex as they share decades of love, loyalty, vulnerability and conflict. Written from the perspective of the aging Larry Morgan,Crossing to Safety is a beautiful and deeply moving exploration of the struggle of four people to come to terms with the trials and tragedies of everyday life.
With an introduction by Jane Smiley.
Literary agent Joe Allston, the central character of Stegner's novel All the Little Live Things, is now retired and, in his own words, 'just killing time until time gets around to killing me.' His parents and his only son are long dead, leaving him with neither ancestors nor descendants, tradition nor ties. His job, trafficking the talent of others, had not been his choice. He passes through life as a spectator. A postcard from an old friend causes Allston to return to the journals of a trip he and his wife had taken years before, a journey to his mother's birthplace, where he'd sought a link with the past. The memories of that trip, both grotesque and poignant, move through layers of time and meaning, and reveal that Joe Allston isn't quite spectator enough.Wallace Stegner was the author of, among other works of fiction, Remembering Laughter (1973); The Big Rock Candy Mountain (1943); Joe Hill (1950); All the Little Live Things (1967, Commonwealth Club Gold Medal); A Shooting Star (1961); Angle of Repose (1971, Pulitzer Prize); Recapitulation (1979); Crossing to Safety (1987); and Collected Stories (1990). His nonfiction includes Beyond the Hundredth Meridian (1954); Wolf Willow (1963); The Sound of Mountain Water (essays, 1969); The Uneasy Chair: A Biography of Bernard deVoto (1964); American Places (with Page Stegner, 1981); and Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs: Living and Writing in the West (1992). Three short stories have won O.Henry prizes, and in 1980 he received the Robert Kirsch Award from the Los Angeles Times for his lifetime literary achievements.
'This is the age for the short story. None will be better or more worthy of admiration than Wallace Stegner's Collected Stories' Washington Post Book WorldIn a literary career spanning more than fifty years, Wallace Stegner, winner of a Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, has created a remarkable record of the history and culture of twentieth-century America. These thirty-one stories demonstrate why he is acclaimed as one of America's master storytellers. Here are tales of young love and older wisdom, of the order and consistency of the natural world and the chaos, contradictions and continuities of the human being.'Exemplary stories ... The reader of Stegner's writing is immediately reminded of an essential America ... a distinct place, a unique people, a common history, and a shared heritage remembered as only Stegner can' Los Angeles Times
'Timely and timeless ... Will hold any reader to its last haunting page' Chicago TribuneThe early life of Joe Allston, the retired literary agent of Stegner's National Book Award-winning novel, The Spectator Bird, features in this disquieting and keenly observed novel. Scarred by the senseless death of their son and baffled by the engulfing chaos of the 1960s, Allston and his wife, Ruth, have left the coast for a California retreat. And although their new home looks like Eden, it also has serpents: Jim Peck, a messianic exponent of drugs, yoga and sex; and Marian Catlin, an attractive young woman whose otherworldly innocence is far more appealing - and far more dangerous. 'The Great Gatsby captures the twenties and yet transcends them. All the Little Live Things is a comparable achievement for the sixties ... Stegner's craft is here at an apex' Virginia Quarterly Review
'Enchanting, heartrending and eminently enviable' Vladimir NabokovPulitzer Prize-winning author Wallace Stegner's boyhood was spent on the beautiful and remote frontier of the Cypress Hills in southern Saskatchewan, where his family homesteaded fro 1914 to 1920. In a recollection of his years there, Stegner applies childhood remembrances and adult reflection to the history of the region to create this wise and enduring portrait of pioneer community existing in the verge of a modern world.'Stegner has summarized the frontier story and interpreted it as only one who was part of it could' The New York Times Book Review
'One of our greatest contemporary novelists' Washington PostBruce Mason returns to Salt Lake City not for his aunt's funeral, but to encounter the place he fled in bitterness forty-five years ago. A successful statesman and diplomat, Mason had buried his awkward childhood to become a figure who commanded international respect. But the realities of the present recede in the face of ghosts of his past. As he makes the perfunctory arrangements for the funeral, his inner pilgrimage leads him to the father who darkened his childhood, the mother whose support was both redeeming and embarrassing, the friend who drew him into the respectable world of which he so craved to be a part, and the woman he nearly married.In this profoundly moving book, Stegner has drawn an intimate portrait of a man understanding how his life has been shaped by experiences seemingly remote and inconsequential.
Bo Mason, his wife, Elsa, and their two boys live a transient life of poverty and despair. Drifting from town to town and from state to state, the violent, ruthless Bo seeks out his fortune - in the hotel business, in new farmland and eventually, in illegal rum-running through the treacherous back roads of the American Northwest.In this affecting narrative, Wallace Stegner portrays more than thirty years in the life of the Mason family as they struggle to survive during the lean years of the early twentieth century.Wallace Stegner was the author of, among other works of fiction, Remembering Laughter (1973); Joe Hill (1950); All the Little Live Things (1967, Commonwealth Club Gold Medal); A Shooting Star (1961); Angle of Repose (1971, Pulitzer Prize); The Spectator Bird (1976, National Book Award); Recapitulation (1979); Crossing to Safety (1987); and Collected Stories (1990). His nonfiction includes Beyond the Hundredth Meridian (1954); Wolf Willow (1963); The Sound of Mountain Water (essays, 1969); The Uneasy Chair: A Biography of Bernard deVoto (1964); American Places (with Page Stegner, 1981); and Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs: Living and Writing in the West (1992). Three short stories have won O.Henry prizes, and in 1980 he received the Robert Kirsch Award from the Los Angeles Times for his lifetime literary achievements.
Sabrina Castro, an attractive woman with a strong New England heritage, is married to a wealthy, older California physician who no longer fulfils her dreams. An almost accidental misstep leads her down the slow descent of moral disintegration, until there is no place for her to go but up and out. How Sabrina comes to term with her life is the theme of this absorbing personal drama, played out against the background of an old Peninsula estate where her mother lives among her servants, her memories of Boston and her treasured family archives. A Shooting star displays all the greatness of Wallace Stegner's storytelling powers.Wallace Stegner was the author of, among other works of fiction, Remembering Laughter (1973); The Big Rock Candy Mountain (1943); Joe Hill (1950); All the Little Live Things (1967, Commonwealth Club Gold Medal); Angle of Repose (1971, Pulitzer Prize); The Spectator Bird (1976, National Book Award); Recapitulation (1979); Crossing to Safety (1987); and Collected Stories (1990). His nonfiction includes Beyond the Hundredth Meridian (1954); Wolf Willow (1963); The Sound of Mountain Water (essays, 1969); The Uneasy Chair: A Biography of Bernard deVoto (1964); American Places (with Page Stegner, 1981); and Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs: Living and Writing in the West (1992). Three short stories have won O.Henry prizes, and in 1980 he received the Robert Kirsch Award from the Los Angeles Times for his lifetime literary achievements.
Introduction by Terry Tempest Williams
Afterword by T. H. Watkins
Called a “magnificently crafted story . . . brimming with wisdom” by Howard Frank Mosher in The Washington Post Book World, Crossing to Safety has, since its publication in 1987, established itself as one of the greatest and most cherished American novels of the twentieth century. Tracing the lives, loves, and aspirations of two couples who move between Vermont and Wisconsin, it is a work of quiet majesty, deep compassion, and powerful insight into the alchemy of friendship and marriage.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Wallace Stegner weaves together fiction and nonfiction, history and impressions, childhood remembrance and adult reflections in this unusual portrait of his boyhood. Set in Cypress Hills in southern Saskatchewan, where Stegner's family homesteaded from 1914 to 1920, Wolf Willow brings to life both the pioneer community and the magnificent landscape that surrounds it. This Twentieth-Century Classics edition includes a new introductory essay by Page Stegner.
In this book Wallace Stegner recounts the sucesses and frustrations of John Wesley Powell, the distinguished ethnologist and geologist who explored the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon, and the homeland of Indian tribes of the American Southwest. A prophet without honor who had a profound understanding of the American West, Powell warned long ago of the dangers economic exploitation would pose to the West and spent a good deal of his life overcoming Washington politics in getting his message across. Only now, we may recognize just how accurate a prophet he was.
"This book goes far beyond biography, into the nature and soul of the American West. It is Stegner at his best, assaying an entire era of our history, packing his pages with insights as shrewd as his prose." -'Ivan Doig
Bo Mason, his wife, Elsa, and their two boys live a transient life of poverty and despair. Drifting from town to town and from state to state, the violent, ruthless Bo seeks out his fortune-'in the hotel business, in new farmland, and, eventually, in illegal rum-running through the treacherous back roads of the American Northwest.
Stegner portrays more than thirty years in the life of the Mason family in this masterful, harrwoing saga of people trying to survive during the lean years of the early twentieth century.
Wallace Stegner founded the acclaimed Stanford Writing Program-a program whose alumni include such literary luminaries as Larry McMurtry, Robert Stone, and Raymond Carver. Here Lynn Stegner brings together eight of Stegner's previously uncollected essays-including four never-before-published pieces -on writing fiction and teaching creative writing. In this unique collection he addresses every aspect of fiction writing-from the writer's vision to his or her audience, from the use of symbolism to swear words, from the mystery of the creative process to the recognizable truth it seeks finally to reveal. His insights will benefit anyone interested in writing fiction or exploring ideas about fiction's role in the broader culture.
Joe Allston, the retired literary agent of Stegner's National Book Award-winning novel, The Spectator Bird, returns in this disquieting and keenly observed novel. Scarred by the senseless death of their son and baffled by the engulfing chaos of the 1960s, Allston and his wife, Ruth, have left the coast for a California retreat. And although their new home looks like Eden, it also has serpents: Jim Peck, a messianic exponent of drugs, yoga, and sex; and Marian Catlin, an attractive young woman whose otherworldly innocence is far more appealing-'and far more dangerous.