In Books and Culture, Richard W. Etulain notes the centennial of one of my favorite writers: Wallace Stegner.

The centennial of Wallace Stegner’s birth (1909- 2009) is upon us. Two books and a documentary film provide valuable glimpses of his major importance as a writer and environmental activist. They also correct mistaken notions about Stegner.

Stegner sometimes suffered from misidentification. Some depicted him as a literary blood brother to Zane Grey and Louis L’Amour. Others portrayed him as a hidebound traditionalist unable to adjust to the modern West. Late in his career, a handful of misguided critics went so far as to charge Stegner with plagiarism.

These critics and naysayers miss Stegner’s major contributions as a novelist, historian, and biographer of the American West.

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