Do not look for the special 40th anniversary edition of Wallace Stegner's novel "Angle of Repose" in your local bookstore. It does not exist. The milestone will pass unacknowledged by publishers, literary critics and pretty much everyone save hardcore Stegner lovers.
Of which I am one.
I do not bemoan the slight, if you can even call it that. Stegner's seminal novel of the mid-19th century West – the real West, not the rootin'-tootin', shootin' Gold Rush Days re-enactment West – certainly has enjoyed its share of accolades, and endured its share of controversy, over the decades.
It won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. It was picked by the Modern Library as No. 82 on its list of the 100 Best English-Language Novels Ever, sandwiched between Saul Bellow's "The Adventures of Augie March" and V.S. Naipaul's "A Bend in the River." In 1999, San Francisco Chronicle readers voted it the best 20th century fiction written in or about the West, topping "The Grapes of Wrath" and "The Call of the Wild."
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