The Spectator Bird by Wallace Stegner

The Spectator Bird

byWallace StegnerIntroduction byJane Smiley

Paperback | July 27, 2010

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From the “dean of Western writers” (The New York Times) and the Pulitzer Prize winning–author of Angle of Repose and Crossing to Safety, his National Book Award–winning novel
 
Joe Allston is a retired literary agent who is, in his own words, "just killing time until time gets around to killing me." His parents and his only son are long dead, leaving him with neither ancestors nor descendants, tradition nor ties. His job, trafficking the talent of others, had not been his choice. He passes through life as a spectator.

A postcard from a friend causes Allston to return to the journals of a trip he had taken years before, a journey to his mother's birth­place where he'd sought a link with the past. The memories of that trip, both grotesque and poignant, move through layers of time and meaning, and reveal that Joe Allston isn't quite spectator enough.

About The Author

Wallace Stegner (1909–1993) published more than two dozen books throughout his life, including the novels Angle of Repose, which won the Pulitzer Prize; Crossing to Safety; and The Big Rock Candy Mountain. An early environmentalist, Stegner was instrumental—with his now famous “Wilderness Letter”—in the passage of the 1964 Wilderness A...

Details & Specs

Title:The Spectator BirdFormat:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 7.7 × 5.1 × 0.6 inPublished:July 27, 2010Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143105795

ISBN - 13:9780143105794

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Editorial Reviews

"It is the autobiographical nature of Stegner's work . . . that makes it so compelling. In every novel, the narrator has all the gifts of language, empathy, and philosophy, but he nonetheless can never free himself from the torments of the past."  —Jane Smiley, from the Introduction 

"Elegant and entertaining . . . every scene [is] adroitly staged and each effect precisely accomplished."  The Atlantic