A novel of the friendships and woes of two couples, which tells the story of their lives in lyrical, evocative prose by one of the finest American writers of the late 20th century. When two young couples meet for the first time during the Great Depression, they quickly find they have much in common: Charity Lang and Sally Morgan are both pregnant, ...
A novel of the friendships and woes of two couples, which tells the story of their lives in lyrical, evocative prose by one of the finest American writers of the late 20th century. When two young couples meet for the first time during the Great Depression, they quickly find they have much in common: Charity Lang and Sally Morgan are both pregnant, while their husbands Sid and Larry both have jobs in the English department at the University of Wisconsin. Immediately a lifelong friendship is born, which becomes increasingly complex as they share decades of love, loyalty, vulnerability and conflict. Written from the perspective of the aging Larry Morgan, Crossing to Safety is a beautiful and deeply moving exploration of the struggle of four people to come to terms with the trials and tragedies of everyday life. With an introduction by Jane Smiley. Wallace Stegner (1909-1993) was the author of, among other novels, Remembering Laughter, 1937; A Shooting Star, 1961; Angle of Repose (Pulitzer Prize), 1971; The Spectator Bird (National Book award), 1977; Recapitulation, 1979. Three of his short stories have won O.Henry prizes, and in 1980 he received the Robert Kirsch award from the Los Angeles Times for his lifetime literary achievements. His collected stories were published in 1990. Jane Smiley is the author of many novels and works of non-fiction, including, most recently, "Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel", about the history and anatomy of the novel. Her most recent novel is "Good Faith". She won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992 for "A Thousand Acres", and was shortlisted for The Orange Prize in 2001 for Horse Heaven.
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Have just discovered Wallace Stegner. What a find. I absolutely loved this book. It was so well written, his prose was economical but so evocative. Nothing much happened plot wise but that did not detract from the fact that this book was one that could simply not be put down.
May 19, 2011
This was my first introduction to Wallace Stegnar (for a book club selection), and I'm so glad to find out about his works. He tends toward the cerebral (lots of literary references and foreign languages without interpretation), but not more than enough to build a great story and wonderful characters that keep the story interesting and relatable. It's an extraordinary tale of ordinary people during a period most of us have only nostalgic references from our parents or other literary works to call on. But the characters' lives, challenges, and feelings are universal.
Apr 1, 2007
Hard to put down
This book could be about anyone you know. A glimpse into real relationships and real people. I would highly recommend to all of my closest friends.
Publishers Weekly, 1987-07-31 Adding to a distinguished body of work that already has earned him a Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Awardand on the 50th anniversary of the publication of his first novelStegner's new book is an eloquent, wise and immensely moving narrative. It is a meditation on the idealism and spirit of youth, when the world is full of promise, and on the blows and compromises life inevitably inflicts. Two couples meet during the Depression years in Madison, Wis., and become devoted friends despite vast differences in upbringing and social status. Hard work, hope and the will to succeed as a writer motivate the penurious narrator Larry Morgan and his wife Sally as he begins a term teaching at the university. Equally excited by their opportunities are Sid Lang, another junior man in the English department, and his wife Charity. They are fortune's children, favored with intelligence, breeding and money. Taken into the Langs' nourishing and generous embrace, the Morgans have many reasons for gratitude over the years, especially when Sally is afflicted with polio and the Langs provide financial as well as moral support. During visits at the Langs' summer home on Battell Pond in Vermont and later sharing a year in Florence, the couples feel that they are ``four in Eden.'' Yet the Morgans observe the stresses in their friends' marriage as headstrong, insufferably well-organized Charity tries to bully the passive Sid into a more aggressive mold. Charity is one of the most vivid characters in fiction; if she is arrogant, she is also kindhearted, enthusiastic, stalwart and bravean ardent liver of life. Her incandescent personality is both the dominant force and the source of strain in the enduring friendship Stegner conveys with brilliant artistry. He is also superb at expressing a sense of place, and his intelligent voice makes cogent observations on American society in the decades of his setting. But most importantly, he speaks to us of universal questions, reflecting on ``the miserable failure of the law of nature to conform to the dream of man.'' In doing so, he has created a believable human drama the dimensions of which reach out beyond the story's end and resonate in the reader's heart. BOMC and QPBC alternates; Franklin Library Signed First Edition Society selection. (September 21) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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