During his lifetime, Wallace Stegner (1909-1993) became famous for his prizewinning fiction and autobiographical works; his dedication to environmental causes; and his initiation of the creative writing program at Stanford University that bears his name. His most celebrated works, including Angle of Repose, The Spectator Bird, and Crossing to Safety are still much-loved and widely read – even as accusations have emerged that in at least one instance, Stegner appropriated and plagiarized the work of another writer. In this episode, Jacke talks to Melodie Edwards, independent bookstore owner and host of the Peabody-nominated, Murrow-winning podcast The Modern West (produced by Wyoming Public Radio and PRX) about the “dean of American western writing” and his complicated legacy.
What can we do to unlock the past? How do family secrets affect us? Author Shawna Yang Ryan has spent a lot of time thinking about these issues – and in this episode, she joins Jacke for a discussion of some of her favorite books, including the novel that led her to rethink her understanding of the American West and the graphic novel about a family’s journey that can bring her to tears.
SHAWNA YANG RYAN is a former Fulbright scholar and the author of Water Ghosts (Penguin Press 2009) and Green Island (Knopf 2016). She teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Her short fiction has appeared inZYZZYVA, The Asian American Literary Review, Kartika Review, andThe Berkeley Fiction Review. She is the 2015 recipient of the Elliot Cades Emerging Writer award. Originally from California, she now lives in Honolulu.