Finding an Angle of Repose

“I may not know who I am, but I know where I’m from.” ~Wallace Stegner

“Wisdom…is knowing what you have to accept.” ~Lyman Ward in Angle of Repose

Reading, writing, and living take us on all sorts of enjoyable and not-so-enjoyable tangents. As un undergraduate student at Anderson University, I took an interest in the writing, speaking, and lifestyle of Shane Claiborne, who started The Simple Way, which is an inner-city communal living organization in the tradition of New Monasticism. In interacting with him on a visit, he kept mentioning this guy named Wendell Berry, a Kentucky farmer and writer. So I started reading Berry and could not get enough of him. The vision he offers of living in the contemporary world is maybe still the best I have found. But his literary mentor, a former professor at Stanford, was a guy named Wallace Stegner. I figured I ought to read him, too, which is how I came across Angle of Repose,  a Western novel that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1972. (The New York Times showed its protest against the Pulitzer decision by hardly mentioning the novel or its author in their own pages.)

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