Hot Best Seller

The Uneasy Chair: A Biography of Bernard Devoto

Availability: Ready to download

"He was precocious, alert, intelligent, brash, challenging, irreverent, literary, self-conscious, insecure, often ostentatiously crude, sometimes insufferable," Wallace Stegner says of Bernard DeVoto, who, in the words of a childhood acquaintance, was also "the ugliest, most disagreeable boy you ever saw." Between the disagreeable boy and the literary lion, a life unfolds, "He was precocious, alert, intelligent, brash, challenging, irreverent, literary, self-conscious, insecure, often ostentatiously crude, sometimes insufferable," Wallace Stegner says of Bernard DeVoto, who, in the words of a childhood acquaintance, was also "the ugliest, most disagreeable boy you ever saw." Between the disagreeable boy and the literary lion, a life unfolds, full of comedy and drama, as told in this definitive biography, which brings together two exemplary American men of letters. Born within a dozen years of one another in small towns in Utah, both men were, as Stegner writes, "novelists by intention, teachers by necessity, and historians by the sheer compulsion of the region that shaped us." From this unique vantage point, Stegner follows DeVoto's path from his beloved but not particularly congenial Utah to the even less congenial Harvard where, galvanized by the disregard of the aesthetes around him, he commenced a career that, over three and a half decades, would embrace nearly every sort of literary enterprise: from modestly successful novels to prize-winning Western histories, from the editorship of the Saturday Review to a famously combative, long-running monthly column in Harper's, "The Easy Chair." A nuanced portrait of a stormy literary life, Stegner's biography of DeVoto is also a window on the tumultuous world of American letters in the twentieth century.


Compare

"He was precocious, alert, intelligent, brash, challenging, irreverent, literary, self-conscious, insecure, often ostentatiously crude, sometimes insufferable," Wallace Stegner says of Bernard DeVoto, who, in the words of a childhood acquaintance, was also "the ugliest, most disagreeable boy you ever saw." Between the disagreeable boy and the literary lion, a life unfolds, "He was precocious, alert, intelligent, brash, challenging, irreverent, literary, self-conscious, insecure, often ostentatiously crude, sometimes insufferable," Wallace Stegner says of Bernard DeVoto, who, in the words of a childhood acquaintance, was also "the ugliest, most disagreeable boy you ever saw." Between the disagreeable boy and the literary lion, a life unfolds, full of comedy and drama, as told in this definitive biography, which brings together two exemplary American men of letters. Born within a dozen years of one another in small towns in Utah, both men were, as Stegner writes, "novelists by intention, teachers by necessity, and historians by the sheer compulsion of the region that shaped us." From this unique vantage point, Stegner follows DeVoto's path from his beloved but not particularly congenial Utah to the even less congenial Harvard where, galvanized by the disregard of the aesthetes around him, he commenced a career that, over three and a half decades, would embrace nearly every sort of literary enterprise: from modestly successful novels to prize-winning Western histories, from the editorship of the Saturday Review to a famously combative, long-running monthly column in Harper's, "The Easy Chair." A nuanced portrait of a stormy literary life, Stegner's biography of DeVoto is also a window on the tumultuous world of American letters in the twentieth century.

48 review for The Uneasy Chair: A Biography of Bernard Devoto

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tommy Powell

    I had no idea who Bernard Devoto was but soon learned. Stegner's bio caught me from the first page and I finished this book within 3 weeks. Then I went looking for "Across the Wide Missouri" -Devoto's Pulitzer Prize winner (1948) which is one of my top 10 all time favorites. I had no idea who Bernard Devoto was but soon learned. Stegner's bio caught me from the first page and I finished this book within 3 weeks. Then I went looking for "Across the Wide Missouri" -Devoto's Pulitzer Prize winner (1948) which is one of my top 10 all time favorites.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Phoebe

    Knowing very little about DeVoto, other than his wife's connection with Julia Child, I thought to pick this biography up especially since it was written by the great Stegner. Right away one realizes this is not your typical biography, so lively and literary is the style. DeVoto's tumultuous mentality and his unlikely roots, his fight to leave small town Utah and eventual literary success make for good storytelling. Adult, and for specialized interest. Knowing very little about DeVoto, other than his wife's connection with Julia Child, I thought to pick this biography up especially since it was written by the great Stegner. Right away one realizes this is not your typical biography, so lively and literary is the style. DeVoto's tumultuous mentality and his unlikely roots, his fight to leave small town Utah and eventual literary success make for good storytelling. Adult, and for specialized interest.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Glen

    A comprehensive biography of an almost forgotten writer and editor.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Anson Cassel Mills

    The Uneasy Chair is a fine, friendly, but not uncritical, biography of one Pulitzer-Prize-winning author, Bernard DeVoto (1897-1955), by another, his colleague and fellow westerner Wallace Stegner (1909-1993). Stegner masterfully handles DeVoto’s philosophy of literature and his unrequited professional yearnings. In no time the reader wonders why DeVoto failed to realize that his gift lay in nonfiction and not in novel writing. Stegner merely sketches DeVoto’s family life, but DeVoto’s personali The Uneasy Chair is a fine, friendly, but not uncritical, biography of one Pulitzer-Prize-winning author, Bernard DeVoto (1897-1955), by another, his colleague and fellow westerner Wallace Stegner (1909-1993). Stegner masterfully handles DeVoto’s philosophy of literature and his unrequited professional yearnings. In no time the reader wonders why DeVoto failed to realize that his gift lay in nonfiction and not in novel writing. Stegner merely sketches DeVoto’s family life, but DeVoto’s personality is always on display, especially his compulsiveness and insecurity, the latter of which was so serious that it sporadically verged on panic. This is a worthy biography written with a novelist’s flair.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jim

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

  7. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Wilson

  8. 5 out of 5

    Robert Sweeney

  9. 4 out of 5

    sunspot

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michael T. Clegg

  11. 4 out of 5

    Taylor Mueller

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bill Washburn

  13. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michael McCue

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tim

  16. 4 out of 5

    Duane Porter

  17. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

  18. 4 out of 5

    Knoxann Armijo

  19. 5 out of 5

    Angie

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mackay

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cbig

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ted

  23. 5 out of 5

    Martin E. Weinstein

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sherron Shen

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tim Bjork

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joe Dobrow

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Cotterman

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

  29. 4 out of 5

    Merritt

  30. 5 out of 5

    Terry

  31. 5 out of 5

    Bob

  32. 5 out of 5

    Alan

  33. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  34. 4 out of 5

    Felicia

  35. 4 out of 5

    Bramble

  36. 5 out of 5

    Bookwyrmgyrl

  37. 4 out of 5

    Deann

  38. 4 out of 5

    Jody

  39. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

  40. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Adams

  41. 4 out of 5

    Dan

  42. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  43. 4 out of 5

    Alan

  44. 4 out of 5

    Michael Vandenberg

  45. 5 out of 5

    Kristy Vanhorn

  46. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Crowe

  47. 5 out of 5

    Miggs

  48. 5 out of 5

    Kipend

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...