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Great Science-Fiction & Fantasy Works

  Science-fiction & fantasy literature: a critical list with discussions.

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Walter Wangerin Jr.

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This is a brief discussion of Walter Wangerin Jr. and, of course, of some speculative-fiction books by Wangerin Jr..

This discussion and list does not necessarily include every book by Wangerin Jr.: it includes only those books that I both know and like. Just as with the author list itself, omission of a particular item may mean I didn’t think highly enough of the omitted item, or it may simply mean that I have not yet sufficient familiarity with it. (In a very few cases, I have listed some books merely on the strength of my opinion of the author: all such books are clearly marked below, as throughout these lists, with a hash mark (#) before the title so you know what’s what.)

I don’t pretend that this discussion is a deep analysis. My intent is no more than to give you a rough idea of what kinds of tales Wangerin Jr. tells, how those tales are usually told, and what makes them and Wangerin Jr. worthy; in sum, to help you rank Walter Wangerin Jr. (and the works by Wangerin Jr. listed here) on your personal literary “to do” list.

A Few Words About Walter Wangerin Jr.

Regrettably, I have not yet had an opportunity to write an essay on this author, but the “Other Resources” section below will lead you to some information about the “Notable Books” listed farther down this page.

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Other Walter Wangerin Resources

Walter Wangerin Resources on the Web

To begin, there is his own site, Walter Wangerin Jr. (As of the start of 2021, it appears to still be a work in progress: not all pages are functional.) He also has a Facebook page.

Much of Wangerin’s large output is work outside our focus, and so correspondingly is much of what there is concerning him on the web. As to critical essays, we must turn to reviews of his individual books. Of such reviews, these two are probably the most significant: The Green Man Review on The Book of the Dun Cow [archived copy]; and The New York Times on The Book of Sorrows. There are a couple of other reviews out there at a distinctly more amateur level—if you want them, Google Is Your Friend (those “reviews” tend to be little more than plot summarie)s.

Then there are the inevitable interviews; whether any of them assist a critical understanding is up for discussion, but here are a couple to explore: one with Critique magazine [archived copy], and one at the Novel Journey blog.

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Walter Wangerin Resources in Print

I only know of but one book: Shaping Our Lives with Words of Power: a Study of the Major Works of Walter Wangerin Jr., by Dr. Dianne Portfleet; it is described as “a critical analysis of the writing of contemporary author Walter Wangerin Jr.”

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Notable Science-Fiction and Fantasy Books by Walter Wangerin Jr. ****

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