The critic Morris Dickstein has said that John Williams's Stoner "is something much rarer than a great novel - it is a perfect novel," and in the last decade this austere and deeply moving tale of a Midwestern college professor has been embraced by readers all over the world. Here, to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Stoner, NYRB Classics offers a special hardback edition of the book that also includes a previously unpublished correspondence between John Williams and his agent about its writing and publication.
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 managed to write a draft of his first novel while there. Once home, Williams found a 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. He 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, editing an anthology of English Renaissance poetry and publishing two volumes of his own poems, as well as three novels, Butcher's Crossing, Stoner, and the National Book Award-winning Augustus (all published as NYRB Classics). 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 short-listed 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.
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