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In 1975 the National Book Award Fiction Prize was awarded to two writers: Robert Stone and Thomas Williams. Yet only Stone's Dog Soldiers is still remembered today. That oversight is startling when considering the literary impact of The Hair of Harold Roux. A dazzlingly crafted novel-within-a-novel hailed as a masterpiece, it deserves a new generation of readers. In The Hair of Harold Roux, we are introduced to Aaron Benham: college professor, writer, husband, and father. Aaron-when he can focus-is at work on a novel, The Hair of Harold Roux, a thinly disguised autobiographical account of his college days. In Aaron's novel, his alter ego, Allard Benson, courts a young woman, despite the efforts of his rival, the earnest and balding Harold Roux-a GI recently returned from World War II with an unfortunate hairpiece. What unfolds through Aaron's mind, his past and present, and his nested narratives is a fascinating exploration of sex and friendship, responsibility and regret, youth and middle age, and the essential fictions that see us through.
"Williams's novel is terrific: it is sweet, funny and sexy ... Williams is an accomplished magician."-Newsweek
"Everywhere the language flows from the purest vernacular to the elevations demanded by distilled perception. Our largest sympathies are roused, tormented and consoled."-Washington Post Book World
"A wonderfully old-fashioned writer ... that dinosaur among contemporary writers of fiction, an actual storyteller."-John Irving
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5 1/2 x 8 1/2 trim. LC 94-44582About the Author:
Thomas Williams was born in Duluth, Minnesota in 1926. He attended the University of New Hampshire and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and taught at the University of New Hampshire for many years. His short stories appeared frequently in Esquire, the New Yorker, the Saturday Evening Post, and elsewhere. His first novel, Ceremony of Love, was published in 1955. He went on to write seven more novels and a book of short stories; another collection of his stories, Leah, New Hampshire, was published posthumously. Williams was nominated for the National Book Critics' Circle Award and twice nominated for the National Book Award, winning in 1975 for The Hair of Harold Roux.
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