Wallace Stegner

Angle of Repose

Angle of Repose


In 1960s America, Lyman Ward, a retired history professor and author of books about the Western frontier, returns to his ancestral home in the Sierra Nevada. Abandoned by his wife and wheelchair-bound with a debilitating bone disease, Ward embarks on a search of monumental proportions – to rediscover the life story of his grandmother Susan Burling Ward, who made her own journey to Grass Valley nearly a hundred years earlier.

Through detailed letters and personal writings, Ward follows the refined, educated Susan and her rugged, mining engineer husband Oliver on their journey from New York to California, traversing family struggles, infidelity, jealousy and tragedy, as they forge a new life in the Western states. In discovering her story he excavates his own, probing the shadows of his experience and the America that has come of age around him.

Winner of the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, Angle of Repose is Wallace Stegner’s masterpiece and a fascinating glimpse into frontier-era America.

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