Wallace Stegner
Wednesday May 25th 2022, 10:25 pm
Filed under: History

Okay, as long as I’m in a funk over the Uvalde school massacre I’m going to post this link so I’ll be able to find it later.

I know Wallace Stegner was supposed to be a great writer. I know he taught at Stanford, where his name is honored. I’ve read a couple of his books.

And always thought it was somehow my fault that, y’know? I just don’t like this guy very much. I couldn’t make myself read a third one I’d heard a lot about. He sure didn’t seem to be great towards the women in his stories, and they say his books have a lot of autobiography written into them.

But what we didn’t know was–his most famous one, the one I never got around to reading, had a lot of someone else’s autobiography written into it: plagiarized word for word at times, right down to the title, “Angle of Repose,” and letters his character wrote, Stegner did not. Not only that, he twisted the real woman’s good life into something dark and terrible and unrecognizable.

Her family knew who’d borrowed her manuscripts. They knew who’d defamed their grandmother.

He was always afraid someone would find out what he’d stolen–not just the words but the life.

How could Mary Hallock Foote’s grandkids set the record straight?

Someone intended to put on a play based on his novel in the town that, in real life, was where she had lived and–turns out–her descendants still do.

He finally got caught out. Not in his lifetime, but the real writer could finally get the recognition that had been so long denied and the record could be set straight.

A new play was written instead. Based on what Stegner did. He’d earned it.

2 Comments so far
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You should read “The Plot” similar sort of story.

Comment by Anne 05.25.22 @ 10:51 pm

I just found the article about this – wow!

Comment by Renee 05.25.22 @ 10:54 pm

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