Avoiding wishful thinking

“One of the novelist’s two primary obligations, in my opinion, is to avoid easy answers. That means not only telling the truth about the human condition and its place in the natural world, but also eschewing the kind of wishful thinking, whether expressed through traditional religion or New Agey spiritualism or medicinal consolations, that obfuscates hard truths. This, Stegner, and to a lesser extent his character Joe Allston, do.  

The other obligation — too often overlooked, in my opinion — is, in craft and imagery and resourcefulness of language and figure of speech, to be genuinely enjoyable to read.”
Michael Antman reviewing Wallace Stegner’s All the Little Live Things


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