William Stoner is born at the end of the nineteenth century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to a university to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar´s life. As the years pass, Stoner encounters a series of disappointments: marriage into a '"proper'" family estranges him from his parents; his career is stymied; his wife and daughter turn coldly away from him; a transforming experience of new love ends under threat of scandal. Driven ever deeper within himself, Stoner rediscovers the stoic silence of his forebears and confronts an essential solitude. John Williams´s deeply moving novel is a work of quiet perfection. Powerfully and movingly written, Stoner is a study of a dedicated man relentlessly committed to honesty in himself and in his dealings with others. The truth of one man´s unassuming life can rarely have been captured with such skill and beauty. William Stoner emerges not only as an archetypal American but as an unlikely existential hero, standing in stark relief against an unforgiving world.