Saturday, June 15th, 7PM
Steve Almond discusses his new book, WILLIAM STONER AND THE BATTLE FOR THE INNER LIFE, co-sponsored with Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance (MWPA), in conversation with author Richard Russo
Stoner tells the story of William Stoner. Born into a poor Missouri farming family at the end of the nineteenth century, Stoner is sent to the state university to study agronomy. Instead, he falls in love with literature and becomes a professor. In this achingly beautiful novel, we witness the many disappointments and struggles in Stoner’s life, including his estrangement from his wife and daughter, and the failure of his academic career to prosper, all set against the dramatic changes of the first half of the twentieth century. First published in 1965, Stoner was not initially a popular success, despite glowing reviews. However, the novel was rediscovered in the early 2000s, and has gone on to become an international bestseller, as well as a celebrated critical favorite, with many considering it the quintessential American novel. In his entry in Ig’s Bookmarked series, best-selling author Steve Almond writes about why Stoner has endured as a classic, and the manner in which the book speaks to the impoverishment of the inner life in America. Almond uses the novel as a springboard to share his own struggles as a writer, a father and husband, and, finally, as a middle-aged man grappling with his own mortality.