Wallace Stegner



Wallace Stegner (1909-1993) grew up on the border of Montana and the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, and his writing was deeply shaped by the life and landscape of the mountain West. His first novel, Remembering Laughter, was published in 1937 when he was 28, and he continued writing steadily for more than 50 years, while teaching writing at a succession of American universities, including Harvard and Stanford, where he founded the graduate writing fellowship that bears his name. At Stanford, he served as a mentor to a generation of American writers. His students included Tillie Olsen, Ken Kesey, Thomas McGuane, Larry McMurtry, Edward Abbey and Ernest Gaines. A noted environmentalist, he served in the Department of Interior in the administrations of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. In 1972, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his novel Angle of Repose. Over the course of his long career, he wrote more than a dozen novels, several volumes of short stories and 15 volumes of non-fiction, dealing with history, literature and nature. In this 1991 podcast, recorded at the Academy of Achievement's 1991 Summit in New York City, he recalls his life's journey as a writer and teacher, and how his interest in history has informed his work.