Wallace Stegner, recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in 1972, was a great writer. As an author, historian, teacher, and environmentalist, he influenced countless prominent individuals during his long life. Showcasing some of those relationships, these letters (written between 1933 and 1993) cover a broad range of topics, including literature, history, conservation, and Stanford. Here are letters to colleagues, like Ansel Adams, friends and family, as well as many students who went on to become well–respected authors, among them Wendell Berry, John Daniel, Barry Lopez, William Kittredge, and Robert Stone.
In 1946 he founded the prestigious Stegner Fellowship Program. In 1961, his memos to then Secretary of the Interior Steward Udall set the tone and agenda for what would become the modern environmental movement. Here, in their entirety, are the letters that track it all. For a man who had no interest in writing an autobiography, they offer an inside look at his “unedited thoughts and opinions, and to a factual narrative untransformed by the literary imagination, to life lived before being lived,” writes his son Page Stegner in his introduction. Here is history as told through correspondence with people who helped shape literature, politics, and environmentalism in the twentieth century.