Stoner is a 1965 novel by the American writer John Williams. It tells the story of William Stoner, who attends the state university to study agronomy, but instead falls in love with English literature and becomes an academic. The novel narrates the many disappointments and struggles in Stoner's academic and personal life, including his estrangement from his wife and daughter, set against the backdrop of the first half of the twentieth century.
In his entry in the Bookmarked series, author Steve Almond writes about why Stoner has endured, and the manner in which it speaks to the impoverishment of the inner life in America. Almond will also use the book as a launching pad for an investigation of America's soul, in the process, writing about his own struggles as a student of writing, as a father and husband, and as a man grappling with his own mortality.