THE WOMEN ON THE WALL
Stegner's versatility is already well proven, and this volume of wholly unstandardized short stories is but further evidence. The stories range from realistic anecdotal material with a folk quality to perceptive, sensitive psychological studies of adolescence and childhood. The scenes shift from Vermont to California, from Saskatchewan to Mexico. There's humor and pathos and occasional irony- but there's none of the sordidness, the disillusionment that marks so much of contemporary short story telling. Some may even call his stories old fashioned. I found them hearteningly American, without ever being either corny or sentimental. I'd suggest for sampling, to give you a flavor distinguishing these stories from the average collection, the following:- Beyond the Glass Mountain, the story of two one-time school chums meeting years later, when roles were reversed; Goin' To Town, a study of anticlimax; Two Rivers for contrast in mood; The Colt, a story of a boy's love for a colt- and the tragic aftermath; The Sweetness of the Twisted Apples for the flavor of rural life.