Wallace Stegner, in his essay on the writer in the American West, laments that Westerners have been unable “to get beyond the celebration of the heroic and mythic frontier.” He says, We cannot find, apparently, a present and living society that is truly ours and that contains the material of a deep commitment. . . . Instead, we must live in exile and write of anguishes not our own, or content ourselves with the bland troubles, the remembered violence, the already endured hardships, of a regional success story without an aftermath.