Historical Review or Life Review?: The Role of Interpretation in Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 1995


Gerontologists are finding literature an increasingly valuable resource for studies of images of aging, psychology, and the life review. In this article I explore the life review as it is depicted in Angle of Repose, a novel by the late Wallace Stegner, in which the protagonist finds himself engaged in life review through writing his grandmother's biography. A tale within a tale, the novel portrays the narrator's journey toward self-understanding as it is shaped and illuminated by his family research. I explore the role of interpretation in historical narrative and literature as well as life review, and conclude with consideration of the value of fictitious accounts for real-life situations.



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