Mary Stuart Page Stegner died last month. Her obituary (http://www NULL.sltrib NULL.com/D=g/ci_15120021) ran in a few newspapers, but it came to my attention as a blip in my Twitter stream, tucked appropriately between posts lamenting the destruction of nature in the BP oil spill.
The fact that she was still alive gave me pause as much as her age. At 99, she’d outlived by 17 years her husband Wallace Stegner (http://www NULL.wallacestegner NULL.org/), who died after a car accident in 1993 on his way to give a lecture in Santa Fe. Their 60-year marriage was a “personal literary partnership of singular facility,” wrote Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. in The Geography of Hope, A Tribute to Wallace Stegner, a partnership in which he did the writing and she enforced the writerly environs. He brought her breakfast in bed; she fed him new interests and fended off distractions. The end of that partnership was like something out of Stegner’s own novel Crossing to Safety. Marriage and longevity. Loss, and carrying on. Continue reading