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Reed Rainier Chapter Reading Group - Stoner by John Williams

Stoner by John Williams

Location: The home of Barbara Carter Radin ’75

"For almost twenty years after his death, in 1994, [John] Williams appeared doomed to near-oblivion—omitted from every list, popular or scholarly, canonical or hipster-revisionist. If he had any sort of afterlife, it was as a writer’s writer or a secondhand bookseller’s writer. What eventually propelled him to posthumous fame was the rediscovery of his 1965 book Stoner, a small-scale, modestly written campus novel that follows a mid-ranking academic from cradle to deathbed. There was, at first, little excitement when, in the summer of 2006, New York Review Books Classics reissued the book, after lobbying from a Manhattan book dealer. But, later that year, Anna Gavalda, a popular French novelist, read a piece in The Guardian in which the writer Colum McCann called it 'one of the great forgotten novels of the past century.' Gavalda read the book and asked her publisher to secure translation rights, a decision that caught the attention of publishers around Europe. Starting in 2011, Stoner became a best-seller in France, the Netherlands, Italy, Israel, and the U.K. It was praised as 'beautiful' and even 'perfect' by a number of prominent writers, including Bret Easton Ellis and Ian McEwan, and was described by the London Sunday Times as 'The Greatest Novel You Have Never Read.'" Leo Robson in The New Yorker

Here is a link to the full article entitled "John Williams and the Canon that Might Have Been":

Reading-group meetings start at 7:30 pm, and generally end around 9:30. Anyone who has read the month’s selection is invited to take part; new participants are welcome, and no long-term commitment is required. If you plan to attend, please e-mail or call the hosts at least two days before the meeting, so they will know how many people to expect, and so you may be notified in the event that the location should change, as sometimes happens. Please direct questions or suggestions to  

A list of books discussed by the group from 1991 through the beginning of this year may be found at the following URL:

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 7:30pm

The home of Barbara Carter Radin ’75

Event Type

Alumni, Social




book club, reading group, Seattle

Rainier Alumni Chapter
Alumni Programs

#reading group

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