Stegner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of personal, historical, and geographic discovery
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.
"Cause for celebration . . . A superb novel with an amplitude of scale and richness of detail altogether uncommon in contemporary fiction." —The Atlantic Monthly
"Brilliant . . . Two stories, past and present, merge to produce what important fiction must: a sense of the enchantment of life." —Los Angeles Times
This Penguin Classics edition features an introduction by Jackson J. Benson.
For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
This long, thoughtful novel about a retired historian who researches and writes about his pioneer grandparents garnered Stegner a Pulitzer Prize.
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100 Words or Less
The stiff construct of this novel is overwhelming.
Like the character and his setting, the prose proves to be self-involved and restricted. The words thud across the page with so much leaden “meaning” that I simply struggle to continue. The pace is lethargic, the emotional string-pulling is typical, and it all provides little reason to continue.
Maybe this novel is a victim of its era? Maybe its formula is so used by now, that I couldn’t approach it with a fresh eye. Well, for whatever reason, I tried to slog forward, but to no avail. I stopped after two chapters.