Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Five best novels on friendship

Lan Samantha Chang is the director of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her latest novel is All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost.

For the Wall Street Journal, she named a five best list of novels on friendship.

One title on the list:
Crossing to Safety
by Wallace Stegner (1987)

On a frosty night in Madison, Wis., in 1937, two young and hopeful couples form a bond that carries them through the next 34 years. Larry and Sally Morgan, talented but poor, are befriended by the wealthy and idealistic Sid and Charity Lang. After one memorable year in Madison, the couples and their children continue to meet in Vermont in the summers. Over time, their life expectations are tested again and again. Sid longs to be a poet but finds his dreams in conflict with those of his vivacious wife. Larry's own writing is put on hold when Sally is stricken with polio. In old age, the Morgans and Langs meet for a final time. The wilderness of Vermont, beautiful and threatening, suffuses their last, wrenching conversations, lending a natural mortality to this examination of human love and frailty. "I didn't know myself well, and still don't," Larry acknowledges. "But I did know, and know now, the few people I loved and trusted."
Read about the other novels on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue