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.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - mkfs - LibraryThing
There are a few of these tales about a marriage going sour, due to the irrational and unpredictable demands of a woman who has decided to declare war on her spouse. It always feels one-sided, like ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - jpe9 - LibraryThing
Love of literature is the only bright spot in the main character's life. The rest is relentless sorrow and conflict. Many of the attitudes portrayed now seem a period piece of the first half of the 20th century (the time period of the novel). Read full review