The story of two marriages and a powerful friendship that binds them. Larry Morgan narrates; in the real time of the novel, 1972, he is in his sixties, and staying with his wife Sally at the Vermont home of their lifelong friends Sid and Charity Lang. They have not seen each other for several years; the Morgans now live in New Mexico, and Sally, disabled from polio, struggles to travel far. However, as we find out within the first few pages, this is not a joyful reunion. The Morgans have been summoned because Charity is dying, and this is a last chance for them to be together in a place where they share so many happy memories. Larry finds himself meditating on the life they have shared as he walks through the grounds of the house that has not changed since they were twenty-somethings back in the 1930s. Starting from the beginning of their friendship in the college town of Madison, Wisconsin, he tells the story of his own marriage, that of Sid and Charity’s, and of a friendship that sustained across half a century as all four navigated their paths through lives that turned out to be very different from their youthful dreams.Wallace Stegner’s writing is exquisite, and his ability to convey the essence of humanity and the power of friendship in this deceptively simple, humble tale is astounding.— Gail
Introduction by Terry Tempest Williams
Afterword by T. H. Watkins
Called a “magnificently crafted story . . . brimming with wisdom” by Howard Frank Mosher in The Washington Post Book World, Crossing to Safety has, since its publication in 1987, established itself as one of the greatest and most cherished American novels of the twentieth century. Tracing the lives, loves, and aspirations of two couples who move between Vermont and Wisconsin, it is a work of quiet majesty, deep compassion, and powerful insight into the alchemy of friendship and marriage.
About the Author
Terry Tempest Williams is the author of many books, including Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place; Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert; and Finding Beauty in a Broken World. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Lannan Literary Fellowship in creative nonfiction, she lives in southern Utah.
T. H. Watkins (1936–2000) was the first Wallace Stegner Distinguished Professor of Western American Studies at Montana State University, and was the author of twenty-eight books.