Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on July 13, 2010
Stegner's series of short essays trap the essence of what it means to live and write in the West like lightning in a bottle. The "west" he lived in and wrote for was roughly the area west of the 100th meridian where dry-land farming is problematic to the western edge of the Great Basin. (California and Oregon didn't really count as "western" to Stegner; they were "west of the west," as in the title of Mark Arax' book which, as an aside, is well-worth reading.)

I own a hardbound edition of this book. The paperback was a gift for a friend and intended as a short-cut for writing him a "Wallace Stegner Writer's Workshop Reading List." Essentially all the works that Stegner used as reference material in his creative writing classes at Stanford appear in Mountain Water. But the book contexts those reference materials in the landscape of Western American writing in ways that make sense to me despite their mix-and-match of genres that both defies and defines truly "western" writers.
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