In William Stoner and the Battle for the Inner Life, acclaimed author Steve Almond examines why Stoner, now considered the quintessential American novel by many, has endured as a classic. John Williams’ novel tells the story of William Stoner, from his poor rural upbringing and college studies to the failure of his academic career and estrangement from his wife and daughter, all set against the dramatic changes of the first half of the twentieth century. While not a popular success upon its 1965 debut, the novel was rediscovered in the early 2000s and became an international best-seller and a highly acclaimed critical favorite. Almond writes about the manner in which Stoner speaks to the impoverishment of the inner life in America, while also supplementing his analysis of the novel with stories of his own struggles as a writer, a father and husband, and, finally, as a middle-aged man grappling with his own mortality. He is joined in conversation by poet and editorial director of the New York Review of Books Classics series Edwin Frank. The event will be followed by a reception.
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