One Book Steamboat devoted to Stegner novel, “Angle of Repose” | SteamboatToday.com

One Book Steamboat devoted to Stegner novel, “Angle of Repose”

— Author Wallace Stegner is widely recognized as one of the mid-20th century's most influential writers about the American West, not only for his own fiction and nonfiction books, but also for his influence on the next generation of writers about the west.

Stegner's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1971 novel about a challenged marriage set, "Angle of Repose," has been selected as the Bud Werner Memorial Library's selection for the 2016 One Book Steamboat program, which includes a film, book club discussions and a trivia contest. The library has acquired extra copies of the novel to help ensure all patrons who wish can read and ponder its indirect exploration of the myth of the West as a land of opportunity.

One Book Steamboat

Stegner trivia contest Oct. 1 through 7

The library is hosting a Stegner trivia contest. Check the Bud Werner Memorial Library Facebook page, Steamboat Today, the library’s events website or stop at the library's front desk daily for new trivia questions about “Angle of Repose,” Wallace Stegner and the true stories behind this Pulitzer Prize-winning American novel.

Answers can be submitted in person to the library front desk, via Facebook message or email to jlay@steamboatlib…. Include name and contact information.

What: Book club discussions of Wallace Stegner’s “Angle of Repose”

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When: noon, Nov. 1, 2016

Where: Bud Werner Library conference room and administration wing

Sign up at the circulation desk, call 970-879-0240, or complete the online registration at One Book Steamboat

Stegner's work resonates in Northwest Colorado for his defense of the sanctity of Yampa Canyon in Dinosaur National Monument, while opposing plans to build a dam there. And Stegner's nonfiction book, "Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West," about Powell's exploration of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River, is a must-read. If you think it was heck rowing Hell's Half Mile on the Green River in Lodore Canyon, wait until you read about the Powell expedition's travails.

“Angle of Repose,” set in the second half of the 19th century, is a different kind of book. It portrays the journey through the American West and the marriage of Susan Burling Ward and her husband, Oliver Ward, through the research of Susan Burling Ward’s grandson, Lyman Ward, a retired professor of history in Grass Valley, Calif.

"A Quaker lady of high principles,” Ward said in describing his grandmother. ” … you stayed a cultural snob through it all. Even when you lived in a field camp in a canyon, your children had a governess, no less, unquestionably the only one in Idaho.”

Literally speaking, the "angle of repose" is an engineering term for the steepest angle at which a granular material (think gravel) can be piled without slumping. Readers may infer that applies to the wandering career of Oliver Ward or to his marriage to Susan or, perhaps, to both.

Steamboat readers who want to learn what other readers think about “Angle of Repose” can find a wealth of comments at the webpage, Goodreads. For many, it's the elegance of the author's prose, and readers may want to keep a pen and pad next to their reading chair to record their impressions.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1

One Book Steamboat

Stegner trivia contest Oct. 1 through 7

The library is hosting a Stegner trivia contest. Check the Bud Werner Memorial Library Facebook page, Steamboat Today, the library’s events website or stop at the library’s front desk daily for new trivia questions about “Angle of Repose,” Wallace Stegner and the true stories behind this Pulitzer Prize-winning American novel.

Answers can be submitted in person to the library front desk, via Facebook message or email to jlay@steamboatlib…. Include name and contact information.

What: Book club discussions of Wallace Stegner’s “Angle of Repose”

When: noon, Nov. 1, 2016

Where: Bud Werner Library conference room and administration wing

Sign up at the circulation desk, call 970-879-0240, or complete the online registration at One Book Steamboat