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Summer reading

“Stoner” by John Williams or how to narrate a simple life, with Mariela Burani

“Sloane’s eyes came back to William Stoner, and he said dryly, ‘Mr Shakespeare speaks to you across three hundred years, Mr Stoner; do you hear him?’”
“There are wars and defeats and victories of the human race that are not military and that are not recorded in the annals of history.”

John Williams, Stoner

Do you look forward to the summer to catch up on your reading but are at a loss as to what to choose?

Stoner is a perfect novel, so well told and beautifully written, so deeply moving, that it takes your breath away.’ New York Times

‘Impresiona el modo de contar de John Williams, su fuerza inusitada para los dramas minúsculos y para el recuento cotidiano de nuestras resignaciones y decepciones.’ Enrique Vila-Matas

The novel Stoner by the American writer John Williams was published in 1965 but was widely ignored for decades. In fact, Williams was better known for other works of fiction for which he even won some awards. But, luckily for us, some years ago, the novel was rediscovered; mainly because it was translated into French, which cascaded the novel to Argentina. It was also read and praised by writers such as Julian Barnes, Ian McEwan and Enrique Vila-Matas,

The novel is so simple, that it might sound silly to recap its plot: it is the life of William Stoner, a forgotten literature professor in a university in Missouri (not Yale or Harvard, just Missouri). Narratively speaking, it is linear and very easy to follow; its prose is restrained and precise (no Faulkner here). Moreover, only some minor events mark his life (Stoner is no Jay Gatsby), but in this apparent simplicity lies a compassionate, beautiful picture of a character whose presence will remain in our hearts and will make us ponder on the importance of the decisions we make in life.

How are we going to work?

Read the novel during the summer, jot down your impressions, your ideas, and your opinions and then join Mariela Burani in a three-hour meeting on April 4th to discuss them over a cup of coffee. She will also explore some insights related to the theory of the novel as a genre in order to enrich the analysis.

How much does it cost?

APRIR members: $400

Non-members: $600

Complimentary cup of coffee included.

How do I enrol?

Vacancies are very limited, because a reading group like this one must be kept small, so secure your place by paying in advance. First come, first served!

Pay through your colleagues in the Committee or by bank transfer AND email us the slip at

Banco Nación Suc. 3020- Rosario
CBU Nº 0110444240044427146462
Cuenta Corriente Especial
Nº de cuenta: 444271464/6
Asociación de Profesores de Inglés de Rosario
CUIT: 30680502109


You can buy the novel in local bookshops or order it online from well-known websites. If you are having trouble getting hold of it email us for assistance.

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