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Adam Gopnik, one of The New Yorker's most astute and erudite writers, gives us one of the best...
I may have to eat my words.
Those would be words that I wrote in this space last week about the...
It seems reasonable that I've never heard of "Stoner," a novel by John Williams.
It was published in 1965, when I was just graduating from high school and was heading off to read the likes of Shakespeare, Hemingway, Faulkner, Milton, Dickens -- folks in the great Western literature tradition.
Other than college-required materials I basically read nothing on the best-seller list from 1963 through 1980. Heck, I didn't even watch anything on television from 1972 through 1980. I was in two graduate programs.
So, no wonder I missed "Stoner."
Everyone else did, too, apparently.
Publishers Weekly recently reported, though, that "Stoner" is back -- at least overseas.
It's the No. 1 best-seller in the Netherlands. The Ducth edition, out in 2012, has more than 100,000 copies in print. And it's moving quickly in the rest of Europe.
Nobody knows why, except to say that it's a "perfect" novel about a man who gets out of school and goes to work.
It was highly praised when it first came out, and then quickly forgotten.
Now, I have the time. I just need to find the book.
Fortunately, I can take advantage of inter-library loan. So I have ordered "Stoner."
You can, too. Just drop by the library.
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