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About the book
  • Published: 3 September 2012
  • ISBN: 9780099561545
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $19.99
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Stoner

A Novel




The greatest rediscovered classic of recent years, Stoner is a literary legend - now repackaged with a more commercial, eye-catching and human-centred cover image.

Read the greatest rediscovered classic of recent years

'A beautiful, sad, utterly convincing account of an entire life' Ian McEwan
William Stoner enters the University of Missouri at nineteen to study agriculture. A seminar on English literature changes his life, and he never returns to work on his father's farm. Stoner becomes a teacher. He marries the wrong woman. His life is quiet, and after his death, his colleagues remember him rarely.

Yet with truthfulness, compassion and intense power, this novel uncovers a story of universal value - of the conflicts, defeats and victories of the human race that pass unrecorded by history - and in doing so reclaims the significance of an individual life.
'A brilliant, beautiful, inexorably sad, wise and elegant novel' Nick Hornby

‘A terrific novel of echoing sadness’ Julian Barnes

  • Pub date: 3 September 2012
  • ISBN: 9780099561545
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

John Williams

John Williams was born on August 29, 1922 in Clarksville, Texas. He served in the United States Army Air Force from 1942 to 1945 in China, Burma and India. The Swallow Press published his first novel, Nothing But the Night, in 1948, as well as his first book of poems, The Broken Landscape, in 1949. Macmillan published Williams' second novel, Butcher's Crossing, in 1960.
After recieving his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Denver, and his Ph.D from the University of Missouri, Williams returned in 1954 to the University of Denver where he taught literature and the craft of writing for thirty years. In 1963 Williams received a fellowship to study at Oxford University where where he received a Rockefeller grant enabling him to travel and research in Italy for his last novel, Augustus, published in 1972. John Williams died in Arkansas on March 4, 1994.

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Praise for Stoner

“A terrific novel of echoing sadness”

Julian Barnes

“It's simply a novel about a guy who goes to college and becomes a teacher. But its one of the most fascinating things that you've ever come across”

Tom Hanks, Time

“I was stunned by it... beautifully written in simple but brilliant prose, a novel of an ordinary life, an examination of a quiet tragedy, the work of a great but little-known writer”

Ruth Rendell, Guardian

“One of the great unheralded 20th century American novels...Almost perfect”

Bret Easton Ellis

“One of the great forgotten novels of the past century. I have bought at least 50 copies of it in the past few years, using it as a gift for friends. It is universally adored by writers and readers alike...so beautifully paced and cadenced that it deserves the status of classic”

Colum McCann, Guardian

“A beautiful, sad, utterly convincing account of an entire life… I’m amazed a novel this good escaped general attention for so long”

Ian McEwan

“A brilliant, beautiful, inexorably sad, wise, and elegant novel”

Nick Hornby, The Believer

“Something rarer than a great novel -- it is a perfect novel, so well told and beautifully written, so deeply moving, that it takes your breath away...few stories this sad could be so secretly triumphant, or so exhilarating.”

New York Times

“A beautiful and moving novel, as sweeping, intimate and mysterious as life itself”

Geoff Dyer

“The most extraordinary work of fiction I've read in a long time... If you're looking for a book that's simple and subtle, warmly human and at the same time utterly pitiless in his rendition of the vicissitudes of an ordinary existence, here's one you will read again and again”

New Statesman

“Unquestionably one of the finest novels of the 20th century, its genius lies in its candour and in prose that simmers with subtle intent.”

Irish Times

“The word-of-mouth hit of the summer. Read it and you’ll see why”

Daily Telegraph

“It’s as if this novel is about all of us: our hopes, disappointments and sorrows… a lesson in values, told with love and awe”

Bel Mooney, Daily Mail

“A wonderful novel, rich and sombre, a record of pain and less but also of moments of vision and tenderness... flawless”

Adam Foulds, Independent


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Book club discussion notes for Stoner by John Williams.

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