But the realities of the present recede in the face of ghosts of his past. As he makes the perfunctory arrangements for the funeral, we enter with him on an intensely personal and painful inner pilgrimage: we meet the father who darkened his childhood, the mother whose support was both redeeming and embarassing, 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 undestanding how his life has been shaped by experiences seemingly remote and inconsequential.
|Publisher:||Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Date of Birth:February 18, 1909
Date of Death:April 13, 1993
Place of Birth:Lake Mills, Iowa
Place of Death:Santa Fe, New Mexico
Education:B.A., University of Utah, 1930; attended University of California, 1932-33; Ph. D., State University of Iowa, 1935
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Nostalgia is a longing for once familiar circumstances or surroundings that are now remote or irrecoverable. It is this nostalgia that is the hallmark of Recapitulation, a novel by Wallace Stegner, that surrounds you while depicting events and details unfamiliar and raises the feeling of nostalgia for those once familiar circumstances of your own that are as remote as that small town in which you were raised and that you left long ago seldom to return. It is the return of Bruce Mason to his home town of Salt Lake City and the memories that the visit triggers that inhabit the pages of Stegner's fine novel with an aura of nostalgia that makes the reader feel that he is part of Mason's life as he grows and learns and experiences some of the common rites of every young man's journey through life. Except he is no longer a young man and his view is from a distant adulthood that gives the memories a melancholic tinge and, perhaps, a certain emphasis that shades the memories with the patina of time. Stegner creates real believable characters in Mason's family, among which include a distant and imperious father and loving mother who is nearer in spirit to her studious son. Bruce is able to escape a life that is supported by a father whose profession is selling contraband (during prohibition) through hard work both in several jobs that provide financial independence and his studies that emancipate his mind. His trip to Salt Lake City, seemingly to perform the necessary rites surrounding his Aunt's funeral, becomes a traversal of a previous life. One filled with ghosts and none closer to his adult self, yet further in a sense, than himself as he ponders near the end of the book:"He felt like the last remaining spectator at the last act of a play he had not understood." (p 274) Through his beautiful prose and his ability to capture the essence of nostalgia and the characters that inhabited the play that was the life of Bruce Mason, Wallace Stegner creates a wonderful story and a great book.
Big Rock Candy Mountain Part II. In this autobiographical novel, Stegner continues the story of Bruce Mason from Big Rock Candy Mountain. He reflects on his life growing up in Salt Lake City and the start of his literary carreer.