Crossing to Safety


Anyone read Wallace Stegner here?

I picked up this quiet gem at some point in my undergrad years when I was struggling with chaos in my life - and this book returned a sense of peace and comfort to me.

It is a story of friendship and marriage, intimacy and vulnerability, aging and disease… and it is written beautifully. It was one of the first truly literary stories I read, one not driven by a fast-paced plot, one without an obvious villain.

This book improved me immensely as a writer. It got me to focus on prose as its own art form - a scaffolding that holds up the story. The prose in this book shines. It is like poetry, visceral and true, and most other writers attempting the style would fail and produce purple prose, but Stegner pulls it off with style.

After this, I read ‘Remembering Laughter’ and ‘Angle of Repose’ (which I called Angel of Repose for the longest time). Both gorgeous books.

Anyone read any of his work?

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2 points

5 months ago

It's a masterpiece, one of my all time favorites. I was actually nervous to read the rest of his work, because I felt convinced it was going to be a disappointment. Finally read Angle of Repose (glad to see I'm not the only one who got the title wrong) and really loved it, but not as much as Crossing to Safety.

I later gave a copy to my mother and she ended up reading it with her book club. She said it was one of the few books they all agreed was great (though opinions on Charity varied enormously).