Angle of Repose

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Angle of Repose is a 1971 novel by Wallace Stegner about a wheelchair-using historian, Lyman Ward, who has lost connection with his son and living family and decides to write about his frontier-era grandparents. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1972. The novel is directly based on the letters of Mary Hallock Foote, later published as A Victorian Gentlewoman in the Far West.
Stegner’s use of substantial passages from Foote’s actual letters as the correspondence of his fictional character Susan Burling Ward was and remains controversial among some scholars. The controversy is somewhat tempered since Stegner had received permission to use Foote’s writings, implying as much in the book’s acknowledgments page.In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Angle of Repose #82 on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.

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