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Writer Wallace Stegner dies at 84

STANFORD -- Pulitzer Prize-winning author Wallace Stegner, founder of Stanford University's Creative Writing Program, died Tuesday, April 13, in St. Vincent Hospital, Santa Fe, N.M.

Stegner, 84, died as a result of complications from an automobile accident March 28 in Santa Fe.

Stegner, who lived in Los Altos Hills, was emeritus professor of English. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1945, directed the Creative Writing Program from 1946 to 1971 and held the Jackson Eli Reynolds professorship in humanities from 1969 to 1971, when he retired. He published more than a dozen novels and numerous short stories, essays and articles.

He won a Pulitzer Prize for Angle of Repose in 1972 and a National Book Award in 1977 for The Spectator Bird. Angle of Repose was the basis of an opera of the same name produced by the San Francisco Opera Company in 1976.

Among his other novels are Crossing to Safety, Big Rock Candy Mountain, A Shooting Star, Wolf Willow and All the Little Live Things. His Collected Stories were published in 1990, and his collection of essays, Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs: Living and Writing in the West, was published in 1992.

He was a member of both the National Institute and Academy of Arts and Letters, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In May 1992, he rejected a medal from the National Endowment for the Arts, saying he was "troubled by the political controls placed upon the agency."

Stanford English Professor Nancy Packer, director of the Creative Writing Program, said that Stegner's death "is a devastating loss. He was a great force to all of us who knew him."

Stegner will be remembered, Packer said, for three main contributions to society: his fiction, which Packer called "complex, wise and beautifully written"; his founding of the Creative Writing Program "through which he touched the lives of so many writers, like Robert Stone, Larry


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