Articles by jogowill

A Prison Wherever He Turned (Stoner by John Williams)

July 22, 2017

The plot of John Williams’ 1965 novel, Stoner (NYRB Classics, 2006): Young man becomes assistant professor at University of Missouri, lives unhappy life, has undistinguished career, dies. You can hardly be blamed if you don’t find this particularly enticing, but make no mistake: Stoner (last name of the protagonist—sorry to disappoint) is a work of almost unbearable beauty. [...]

Fiddle the Escape Wheel (Tinkers by Paul Harding)

March 14, 2011

Paul Harding is doing something here structurally that is just about impossible to explain. The long lyrical passages and excerpts from a fictional eighteenth-century horologists’ manual (seriously!) are forceful, beautiful, and—against all odds—deeply and convincingly rooted in [...]