MAC'S BACKS BOOK CLUB DISCUSSES STONER
Mac's Backs Book Club discusses Stoner by John Williams.
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.
"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
"One of the great unheralded 20th-century American novels ...Almost perfect." --Bret Easton Ellis
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.
We will meet at Hunan on Coventry, just down the street from the bookstore. The book will be available at the Mac's Backs or through our website, www.macsbacks.com, at the 20% book club discount.