Plagiarism Charges Haunt Stegner’s Legacy

Did Wallace Stegner, the “dean” of American Western writers, get “more credit than he deserved for a book he wrote based on the life of fellow Western writer Mary Hallock Foote? Stegner had lifted large amounts of Foote’s writing nearly verbatim from her lifetime of correspondence for his most famous novel, ‘Angle of Repose.’ Stegner’s biographers and others long ago conceded his heavy reliance on the Foote material, but for the most part they dismissed the concerns as misplaced. Recently, though, the issue has again begun seeping into public debate. Many new voices are not so forgiving.”