Posts Tagged: John Williams

What to Read When You Want to Go to College

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College is a rite of passage for many young people, and it's also a part of the American Dream for many families. Here is a list of books that tackle those fraught four years. ...more

The Rumpus Poetry Book Club Chat with Thorpe Moeckel

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The Rumpus Poetry Book Club chats with Thorpe Moeckel about his new book Arcadia Road, the challenge of writing long poems, raising twins, and camo thongs. ...more

When in Rome

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Dig historical fiction? In the forthcoming issue of The New York Review of Books, Daniel Mendelsohn revisits Augustus, the last novel written by John Williams, author of the literary cult favorite, Stoner.  “Like the best works of historical fiction about the classical world,” Mendelsohn writes, “Augustus suggests the past without presuming to create it.” 

Originally published in 1972, Augustus will be re-released by NYRB Classics on August 19th, the two thousandth anniversary of the emperor’s death.

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“A Writer’s Writer”

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John Williams’ Stoner has unexpectedly become a  bestseller in Europe, but the work remains largely unknown in its own country. In “The Greatest American Novel You’ve Never Heard Of,” New Yorker contributor Tim Kreider explores the reasons why Williams has been “consigned to that unenviable category inhabited by such august company as Richard Yates and James Salter: the writer’s writer.”

Stoner is undeniably a great book, but I can also understand why it isn’t a sentimental favorite in its native land.

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“The Story Behind Stoner

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Remember the Steve Almond essay “Lost and Found” from back in 2009?

It was about a novel by John Williams (not the Star Wars composer) called Stoner (not like the marijuana enthusiast), which, though underappreciated by the world at large, bowled Almond over with its “tender and ruthless honesty.”

At The Millions, Claire Cameron has reopened the topic for discussion with a detailed history of a book that is somehow simultaneously universally praised and universally ignored.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #36: Tom DeMarchi in Conversation with Angie Lucas

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Angie is my nineteen-month-old son Charlie’s nanny. She’s been living with us since October 12, 2010. Angie is thirty years old, and is currently reading John Williams’s novel Stoner.

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Poetic Lives Online: Links by Brian Spears

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I love Philip Larkin’s “An Arundel Tomb.” He hated it. On a side note, I really love that the BBC is willing to spend 30 minutes on the story behind a single poem.

This is, I think, a good way to approach an online poetry journal–make it something other than a paper journal transferred onto a website.

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Lost and Found

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I first heard about Stoner back in grad school. I’d been on a Denis Johnson jag (weren’t we all?) and so naturally assumed the novel was a florid account of reefer madness. This is how Stoner begins:

William Stoner entered the University of Missouri as a freshman in the year 1910, at the age of nineteen.

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