Alta Live: Did Wallace Stegner Steal ‘Angle of Repose’ from a Woman?

Wednesday, May 25, at 12:30 p.m. Pacific time

alta live did wallace stegner steal ‘angle of repose’ from a woman
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In an article that has transfixed Alta Journal readers, contributor Sands Hall explored allegations that author Wallace Stegner plagiarized parts of his Pulitzer Prize–winning Angle of Repose, lifting passages from Mary Hallock Foote’s autobiographical A Victorian Gentlewoman in the Far West. But Stegner’s fiction deviates from Foote’s reality at the end of the book, leaving readers torn. Was Stegner simply inspired by Foote, or did he commit literary theft and damage her reputation in the process? When writing fiction, how much can (or should) authors borrow from the experiences of others? Hall joins Alta editor at large Mary Melton for a deep dive into this literary travesty and to discuss the ways in which many women writers have seen their work repurposed—and worse—by men. Join us.


About the guest:

Sands Hall is the author of the memoir Reclaiming My Decade Lost in Scientology (Counterpoint), a finalist for the Northern California Book Awards in Creative Nonfiction and a Publishers Weekly Top Ten Book in Religion and Spirituality. Blackstone Audio produced the audio book, read by the author. Hall is also the author of the novel Catching Heaven (Ballantine), a Random House Reader’s Circle selection and a finalist for the Willa Literary Award (Women Writing the West). She also has a book of essays and exercises, Tools of the Writer’s Craft. Her stories and essays have appeared in such journals as Alta, New England Review, the Iowa Review, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. She brings her extensive theater experience as a playwright, actor, and director, as well as her work as a singer-songwriter and performer, to her teaching. A professor emeritus (English and Creative Writing) at Franklin & Marshall College, she works as a writing coach and teaches privately and for a number of conferences and workshops, including the Community of Writers and the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. She lives in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in California.•

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