Waterstone's book of the year. Colum McCann once called Stoner one of the great forgotten novels of the past century, but it seems it is forgotten no longer - in 2013, translations of Stoner began appearing on best-seller lists across Europe. William Stoner enters the University of Missouri at 19 to study agriculture. A seminar on English literature changes his life, and he never returns to work on his father's farm. Stoner becomes a teacher. He marries the wrong woman.
This is the story of John McGahern's childhood - of his mother's death, his father's anger and bafflement, and of his own discovery of literature and his ambition to become a writer. At the heart of the book is an unembarrassed homage by a loving son to a woman who protected him and his sisters from his father's unpredictable moods. His joy in her presence is recovered with great lyrical tact.