I had a long conversation with a colleague the other night at my house, during the housewarming, about reading and writing. He is from Oklahoma and so the topic of living in the west came up. One of my favorite all time authors is Wallace Stegner. I promised him some follow up information and so sent him the note below.
But I had to go through my library to see what I still have and of course most of my books I tend to give away. So I need to find a used bookstore and replenish. And while looking around on-line, I see he has more volumes on this interesting topic that I need to find and find time to read.
The book I was speaking of is called ‘The American West’. It discusses in detail the broad themes we discussed. He was an early recognizer of the need for awareness and constraint in our appetite for development and our misuse of natural resources to create oasis’s in areas that are not naturally supportive of human habitation. Which includes the majority of western cities to one degree or another. By the way, Edward Abbey and Ivan Doig also cover this topic, although with less elegance and in different styles.
I have read Crossing to Safety, Angle of Repose and Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs each at least 3 times. Crossing and Angle are about as good of American fiction as any I have ever encountered. Where the Bluebird is a short semi-autobiographical view of his upbringing which informs much of his views. Very interesting story here. There is a chapter devoted to his mother which resonated with me and is emotionally very powerful.
Happy to make a loan of any of these books if you want. I just need to dig them up from the library