By Wallace Stegner
Wallace Stegner's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is a narrative of discovery--personal, ancient, and geographical. restrained to a wheelchair, retired historian Lyman Ward units out to put in writing his grandparents' extraordinary tale, chronicling their days spent carving civilization into the skin of America's western frontier. yet his learn unearths much more approximately his personal existence than he's prepared to confess. What emerges is a captivating portrait of 4 generations within the lifetime of an American family.
Like different nice quests in literature, Lyman Ward's research leads him deep into the darkish shadows of his personal lifestyles. the result's a deeply relocating novel that, throughout the prism of 1 family members, illuminates the yank current opposed to the interesting heritage of its past.
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Extra resources for Angle of Repose
The donkeys are turned out to graze on meager grass and scattered sage. We are now at 11,000 feet, the sun warm, the setting peaceful. I feel a sense of exhilaration at being on foot and on the move. I can imagine us as a small trading caravan of a century ago, a thought of quiet atavistic pleasure. Aziz is an experienced cook—he worked in a restaurant—and serves small, round loaves of fresh bread and fried eggs for breakfast. Our morning starts are slow because it takes two to three hours to load the pack animals.
On our right, to the north, are the snow peaks of the Kunlun. On his 1897 map, Deasy labeled the basin “barren and waterless,” and indeed we walk for hours over a barren gravel outwash. However, the lake has a margin with grass, a procumbent Myricaria shrub with tiny pink blossoms, and a ﬁne spring with clear, sweet water. A camel and a donkey skeleton here are reminders that our pack animals need ample food; we have some hay as supplement but far too little, given the heavy burden the animals carry each day.
Just north of Tuotuohe two large black mastiffs and a half-grown pup sit by four chiru they have killed. Ma shoots the two adults but permits the pup to ﬂee toward some nearby huts. I understand the killing lust of these dogs when prey, usually so ﬂeet and shy, is suddenly defenseless. In general, carnivores will kill far more than they can eat when given an opportunity, as I have observed in the Serengeti with spotted hyenas and lions. Wolves, lynx, and snow leopards enter corrals where they may kill a dozen or more domestic sheep where one would do.