'One of our greatest contemporary novelists' Washington PostBruce Mason returns to Salt Lake City not for his aunt's funeral, but to encounter the place he fled in bitterness forty-five years ago. A successful statesman and diplomat, Mason had buried his awkward childhood to become a figure who commanded international respect. But the realities of the present recede in the face of ghosts of his past. As he makes the perfunctory arrangements for the funeral, his inner pilgrimage leads him to the father who darkened his childhood, the mother whose support was both redeeming and embarrassing, the friend who drew him into the respectable world of which he so craved to be a part, and the woman he nearly married.In this profoundly moving book, Stegner has drawn an intimate portrait of a man understanding how his life has been shaped by experiences seemingly remote and inconsequential.
Wallace Stegner was the author of, among other works of fiction, Remembering Laughter (1973); The Big Rock Candy Mountain (1943); Joe Hill (1950); All the Little Live Things (1967, Commonwealth Club Gold Medal); A Shooting Star (1961); Angle of Repose (1971, Pulitzer Prize); The Spectator Bird (1976, National Book Award); Crossing to Safety (1987); and Collected Stories (1990). His nonfiction includes Beyond the Hundredth Meridian (1954); Wolf Willow (1963); The Sound of Mountain Water (essays, 1969); The Uneasy Chair: A Biography of Bernard deVoto (1964); American Places (with Page Stegner, 1981); and Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs: Living and Writing in the West (1992). Three 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.