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Stoner (New York Review Books Classics) - Softcover

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9781590171998: Stoner (New York Review Books Classics)
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Discover an American masterpiece. This unassuming story about the life of a quiet English professor has earned the admiration of readers all over the globe.

 

William Stoner is born at the end of the nineteenth century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to the state university to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar’s life, so different from the hardscrabble existence he has known. And yet as the years pass, Stoner encounters a succession of disappointments: marriage into a “proper” family estranges him from his parents; his career is stymied; his wife and daughter turn coldly away from him; a transforming experience of new love ends under threat of scandal. Driven ever deeper within himself, Stoner rediscovers the stoic silence of his forebears and confronts an essential solitude.

 

John Williams’s luminous and deeply moving novel is a work of quiet perfection. William Stoner emerges from it not only as an archetypal American, but as an unlikely existential hero, standing, like a figure in a painting by Edward Hopper, in stark relief against an unforgiving world.

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About the Author:
John Williams (1922-1994) was born and raised in northeast Texas. Despite a talent for writing and acting, Williams flunked out of a local junior college after his first year. He reluctantly joined the war effort, enlisting in the Army Air Corps, and managing to write a draft of his first novel while there. Once home, Williams found a small publisher for the novel and enrolled at the University of Denver, where he was eventually to receive both his B.A. and M.A., and where he was to return as an instructor in 1954. Williams remained on the staff of the creative writing program at the University of Denver until his retirement in 1985. During these years, he was an active guest lecturer and writer, publishing two volumes of poetry and three novels, Butcher’s Crossing, Stoner, and the National Book Award–winning Augustus.

John McGahern (1934-2006) was one of the most acclaimed Irish writers of his generation. His work, including six novels and four collections of short stories, often centered on the Irish predicament, both political and temperamental. Amongst Women, his best-known book, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and made into a popular miniseries. His last book, the memoir All Will Be Well, was published shortly before his death.
From AudioFile:
STONER opens with the declaration that at the time of William Stoner's death, he had never advanced beyond the rank of assistant professor of English literature and was held in no particular esteem by his colleagues. Few students could even remember him when his name was mentioned. Then John Williams recounts the story of Stoner's life from the age of 19 to his death, and we find that his life was not ordinary at all. Robin Field fully inhabits Stoner's character, dragging every morsel of tragedy, inevitability and, occasionally, wiliness and joy from Williams's understated writing. Field's performance helps us understand that an ordinary person's life is still grand, emotional, and worthy. Originally published in 1965 and recently reissued, STONER is a small miracle of a novel that is enhanced by a narrator who is a perfect match. A.B. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine

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  • PublisherNYRB Classics
  • Publication date2006
  • ISBN 10 1590171993
  • ISBN 13 9781590171998
  • BindingPaperback
  • Number of pages288
  • Rating
    4.32 avg rating
    ( 151,599 ratings by Goodreads )

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