Renowned environmental historian Philip L. Fradkin reveals the Wallace Stegner behind the literary legacy—a generous teacher, conservationist, and man whose early landscapes shaped his life and character. Fradkin chronicles Stegner's formative years, from the raw, desolate plains of Saskatchewan and the canyonlands of Utah to California's Silicon Valley. A lifelong teacher and environmentalist, Stegner inspired countless writers and defended the wilderness against human desecration. In this biography of man, place, and century, Fradkin traces Stegner's life across its many landscapes, and shows us how this child of the fading frontier became the voice, protector, and enduring icon of the West.
Philip L. Fradkin is the author of eleven highly praised books, including A River No More and The Great Earthquake and Firestorms of 1906. He was the first western editor of Audubon Magazine and shared a Pulitzer Prize as a journalist for the Los Angeles Times.
“Sparkles with insights, well-turned phrases, and lively pen portraits.”—Books & Culture: A Christian Review
“This is a splendid scholarly study of America’s most important twentieth-century interpreter of the West.”—Malcolm Rohrbough The Annals Of Iowa
“In his illuminating biography, Fradkin goes beyond Stegner’s iconic literary status to give us, as well, the influential teacher and visionary conservationist, the man for whom the preservation and integrity of place was as important as his ability to render its qualities and character in his brilliantly crafted fiction and nonfiction.”—Entrada Institute
“Fradkin is the perfect fit to study Stegner’s career in the West, as he himself is also a polished writer, historian and environmentalist. . . . Fradkin is a fan of Stegner and his works, but he gives us an objective rundown on the writer, not skipping has character flaws. This is a fine [assessment].”—Richard H. Dillon Old West/True West Magazine
“Respectful of his subject but never worshipful, Fradkin has given us our first full critical portrait of the man and his protean career..”—Hampton Sides, author of Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West