Scott Bradfield at the LA Times:
You can take the writer out of California but you can’t take California out of the writer — or at least so I prefer to imagine, in my romantic fashion, during these dark days in which everything beautiful about the Golden State seems to be burning.
Jean Stafford was born and raised in California (on a West Covina walnut farm). While she spent her life continually moving east (to Colorado, Missouri, New York), Stafford often looked back fondly at the West’s wide amenable spaces.
In many further ways, she swung restlessly across extremes. She studied, worked and partied with both members of the Southern-based “Fugitives” (poets and critics like Allen Tate and Robert Penn Warren), who argued that artful writing was more about form than experience, as well as the more East Coast-leaning Partisan Review crowd (Edmund Wilson and Mary McCarthy), who argued, well, the opposite.